Scrooge no more…

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It seems to me that every year Christmas is appearing earlier.  This year it was the day after Halloween.  It used to be right around Thanksgiving.  The stores would begin decorating.  The radio stations would start playing 24 hours of Christmas music.  Next year it will be right after Labor Day.  In two years it will be after the 4th of July.

My fiancé and I were going to the movies the weekend of Halloween and I was searching for music on the radio since I left my IPOD at home.  When the tune began to evolve into Christmas melody I quickly changed it and said, “Nooooo! Gosh, I wish I could skip this holiday season all together.”

Matt asked me why I hated Christmas so much.  I was taken aback.  I decorated last year for him being our first Christmas together.  I have always gone above and beyond in my homes.  I must admit that I didn’t enjoy it but I faked it pretty well.  My children never spent a holiday without the appearance of a winter wonderland at home with magic in every room.  In my huge house in Florida I had several trees with themes.  One was kept throughout Easter.  After Christmas I took everything down and decorated it with hearts for Valentine’s Day, then immediately switched to St. Patrick’s Day ornaments and finally eggs and sweetness for Easter.   Matt’s question took me off guard as I was witnessing a beautiful mountain day.  Did I really hate Christmas?  Why hadn’t I ever thought of it that way?

I have disliked Christmas since 1977.   On the 23rd of December we were gathered at a family’s house celebrating and my father went out to get cigarettes…I’m still waiting for his return.  Every Holiday season after that I hoped he appeared like St. Nick.  Rationalizing that longing or reasoning makes no sense to me now as an adult but the ego and psyche are sometimes irrational beings.  Just because he left in Christmas doesn’t mean he would return on it.  After nine years, at the age of 18, I left home, and found him in Puerto Rico.  I spent two days with him realizing it wasn’t me that made him run.  It was him.  I visited him several times and kept in touch with him until I was in my thirties when he died from cancer.  My dad was 54 years old when I was born.  The man I saw throughout the years went from a 6-1” frame to a tiny sick version of a man.  My heart broke each time for the loss of his mind, body, and spirit.  But, Christmas still must go on regardless of the depth that has finally released with a simple question from my mate.

For the first time ever, Matt’s questioning made me fully aware of why I disliked the joyfulness of the holiday.  I cringe at the melodies, the in-your-face-too-early propaganda of commercialization.  The real meaning of Christmas has been gone since I was a kid.  I don’t see the gathering of loved ones without the stress.  I don’t witness the handmade cards, thoughtful and loving presents.   Christmas, and all the work in entails in a home, is lost in some form of materialistic translation.

This year I would like to skip it just like I wish I could every year, but our grand-daughter is with us.  She will be a year old on New Year’s Day.  The lack of space in our small home is daunting but we will find a place for twinkling lights and ornaments.

For the first time in a long time I left the Christmas music playing in the car yesterday while running errands.  I moved through the uncomfortable parts.  I sat there holding tightly to the stirring wheel.  “I can do this.  It’s okay.  I am not a scrooge.  I can love this season and all that it brings.  I am blessed for all that comes with the love of my family and friends.”  In the end it is about magic, hope, grace, and peace.  The little girl in me is finally coming to terms with a lifelong hidden awareness….and that’s an incredible rewarding Christmas gift this year.  May you find the joy in this season and the love for the child in you!

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14 thoughts on “Scrooge no more…

  1. I understand. For a long time I hated Christmas because as a Jewish person it was a symbol for me of being left out, of being marginal within a dominant Christian society. I hated the cheesiness and commercialism and didn’t have any good memories to temper that with. A few years ago I worked through my stuff enough to see how much happiness Christmas bungs to people I love and appreciate it for that. No one wants to be sitting in bitterness. Blessings 🙂

  2. Well, I’m glad YOU are “a Scrooge no more”! Me? I don’t hate Christmas; I just hate having the commercialization of it crammed down my throat, beginning November 1st. I, like you, grew up with the holiday season beginning on Thanksgiving Day, with the Macy*s parade ending with Santa on the final float. For me, that will ALWAYS be the beginning of the season. Until then I will not listen to Christmas/Holiday music on the radio in my car. I don’t have a choice in the stores, but I do in my home and car.

    My Dad was the big kid in our family. After he passed in 2005, Christmas held no real magic for me or for Sam. Not getting to see the first grandchild on his first Christmas five years later didn’t help any either. I’ve tried for several years to regain my “Christmas Spirit”, but haven’t had much luck.

  3. I’m a bit melancholy on Christmas myself, my dad died on Christmas. Makes it sad but it also makes me feel blessed. What better day to go to Heaven? Light the tree and see that beautiful child’s eyes twinkle. Scrooge be gone!

    1. I am so very sorry for your loss on this day. It isn’t easy and you do it with such grace, for you and your family. Thank you for always supporting me and sharing above and beyond. I love you, my friend…beyond words.

  4. Yes, I share some of your feelings about the holidays being too commercialized and the added pressure is always daunting and at times overshadows the real spirit of the season. Of course, not getting to share my granddaughter’s first Christmas (Jamie) this year, BOTH of my parents finding out they had cancer at Christmas, my sister Karen died a few days before Thanksgiving, and my sister, Carla, died just after Christmas, all just adds to my melancholy. But, I too have so much to be thankful for especially with you (my sweet Millie), your great kids & our wonderful great-granddaughter being a part of our family, Butch & I celebrating 20 years together (and it still seems like the first year!), my sons that I love more than my own life, and my grandchildren-Danyel and Christian (the light of my life!). I’m 64 years old and not on ANY medications yet, I’m pursuing my love of Photography and Writing and LOVING IT, I’m part of a wonderful group of women who enjoy life and I’m developing new friendships every day, and now have a new & beautiful home! Life is good and for this, I am so grateful! Love to you, sweet Millie, Matt, Angelica, Cali Rose, Patrick & Nelson and wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

      1. I can so relate to what you have written here Millie! I just don’t do Christmas. I find it very disturbing to witness the destruction of everything we hold sacred. Corporations have swooped in and taken everything over. I am a big picture thinker and long ago I could sadly see where all of this was going. The only way I can combat these distressed feelings is to simplify my own life and bring meaning back to it. I refuse to march to that drum beat of consumerism and it is appalling what it has done to society! I had to go into a big box store the other day ( which I try to never use! ) and on my way out I had to wait in a long line of people whose carts were FILLED to overflowing with utter crap. It made me feel so sad inside, so out of place, so alien. All of that is so not me. But I try to not be a scrooge as well. This year my son and his girl friend are off to Germany for Christmas so I shall be alone with the cats. Same for this Thanksgiving. I am used to being alone. I will cook a good meal and eat it by candlelight, give the cats catnip, sit in front of the wood stove and be grateful for all I have. If I’m lucky I will find others I can help in some way and add another layer of meaning to it all. Wishing you all a wonderful day of Thanks and Giving. Thanks to you for sharing your life in words that mean so much to so many…Blessings…VK ❤

  5. Ohhhh. Goodness. Aching story of your childhood and the living emptiness of your father. But like buds insisting on sun and air on a stark branch, your beautiful granddaughter waits to share in the magic of the holidays with you. You don’t HAVE to stay in the pain that has attended this season, M. You can choose differently. I completely understand how you went about to try and make it memorable for your littles. I’ve been turning over a similar post in my head.

    Love,
    Diana

    1. Diana, these are the stories that shape us, mold us, and create us. It’s up to us to use them wisely and grow from them. Thank you for the love and support, sweetie. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Mucho love…Millie

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