‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for me and my dog when she makes sounds because she’s having a dream.
What am I doing up so late you ask? That goes without saying. I’m working out an internal conflict.
To say my Christmas spirit has been lacking would be an understatement.
It’s been three years since I spoke with my mother, and this is the third Christmas without her. The past two were bearable thanks to my grandparents and family in St. Louis. This year, however, for a variety of reasons, I didn’t make it there.
Don’t get me wrong. I had places to go. But there’s something about having a tradition with your own family, even if it drives you nuts. Even if the holiday is filled with stress, frustration, and crying, somehow that feels more familiar than inserting myself into other people’s healthy, loving, and mild holiday traditions.
The worst part was, my sister and I aren’t together. She and I are extremely close, not only in that sisterly way, but in that ‘we survived our childhood together’ way, and yet she is not here.
All that being said, I’m sure you can see why I was having difficulty finding the Christmas cheer. I was happy for the holiday, but that special feeling, I couldn’t find.
So I found myself on the couch at 1am, watching the quality equivalent of a Lifetime Christmas movie, and looking around at the house I’d wish I had decorated.
What would we do tomorrow? First thing when we wake? What will we have for breakfast?
Then it dawned on me…
I can make it whatever I want it to be.
One of the many burdens lifted from my soul when my mom and I split was that of obligation. Now it has extended itself. Three years later, I am not obligated to any holiday activities whatsoever. But what I hadn’t thought to take advantage of yet, was creating my own!
It’s only been 22 minutes since this revelation, and it’s also after 1am -technically Christmas morning so who knows if walmart is open – I don’t know what kind of magic I will make happen before the house is awake. I do know one thing: whatever happens tomorrow will be by choice, not for obligation or default.
I’ll be an active participant in making memories, with this Ghost of Christmas past laid to rest, as my present, for the future.
Have a bright and beautiful day tomorrow (today) and may the love you feel keep you warm all winter long!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
P.s. I’m thinking cinnamon rolls for breakfast and stockings!!!