Holiday Minefields

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Pictures of my Mom’s Antique Santa Collection that I use every year!

As we dive deep into the holiday season I find myself wondering how I will find any excitement over this Christmas. Losing my husband, my best friend, and my companion means that all the fun I had decorating our house and celebrating the season has been taken away.

I’ve always loved Christmas since my Mom made this holiday special. She loved decorating, making cookies, and buying presents for everyone. We always had a trip into San Francisco to soak in the cheer that splashed everywhere. When I lost her in 2001 the holiday light dimmed a lot. However, I was the mother to two small children so I picked up the holiday baton and carried my mother’s love of the season into our home.

After meeting my husband five years ago the holidays became a special time for us as our mutual love of the season went gangbusters. Our blended family loved celebrating together, buying gag gifts, and filling the floor with paper and the house with laughter. Our grandchildren came along and there was even more inspiration to make the holidays a perfect time of being together.

This year…I don’t even want to put up a tree. I did buy a wreath for the front door and a couple of poinsettia for the coffee table, but the thought of pulling out ornaments that we picked out together and adding festivity to our home feels unexciting and I’m not inspired.

I drive through our neighborhood with all the lights sparkling and Christmas trees peeking out from the front windows of homes and I try to find that spark in me.

I adore buying gifts for those I love and seeing the joy and surprise on their faces when they unwrap them. I’ll always love that. But I can’t imagine this season without the inflated Christmas decorations that my husband loved to put up. And I just can’t do it without him.

I know that life goes on. I also know Terry would want me to celebrate with the kids and make it happy. And I’ll try. Really, I will.

Thanksgiving was great. More than I expected really. It wasn’t during the festivities that I was sad. I was surrounded by my grandsons and family and was happy to be there. But when I came home and entered a cold and empty house I broke down.

That’s what it always comes down to. A cold and lonely house. My home, which was always filled with happiness, love, kisses, and hugs is now empty. It’s just me buying frozen dinners for one. I freaking hate that!

I think the biggest thing people don’t realize is that it isn’t the big days that you are at your greatest sadness. Of course you miss them desperately on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays, but it is deepest on a random Tuesday when you see something that reminds you of them. Or a Thursday when you hear a song that makes you think about them.

For some reason you prepare and steel yourself for the big days. And those that love you are so wonderful checking up on you. But this is the thing about losing someone so important in your life, there can’t be someone there every time you’re sad. You have to deal with that pain in your own way and find a way to go on.

So, I may not be able to put a tree up this year. But I can find gifts for those I love to make me feel better. I can wrap them beautifully and bask in the joy when they open them.

I don’t know what the New Year is going to bring, that’s the scary part. In fact this year I’ll be bringing in the New Year with friends at a 20’s themed party. Why? Because I know my husband would want me to do this. He wants me to be happy and find joy. I also know that at some point in the evening he will whisper in my ear, “Happy New Year, Baby Doll.”

Lorena

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