MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I know, a bunch of you holiday purists out there are going to let me have it because it’s not Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. To those millions I have this to say, my blog, my rules. In my opinion, Halloween is the tailgate party to Christmas and Thanksgiving is the day you carbo-load before hitting the stores on Black Friday. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!! I love the family togetherness. I love the smell of peppermint and chocolate. I love the cold weather. I love the presents, both buying and receiving (see my Amazon wish list for gift ideas ;). I love the tree. I love the lights. I love the carols. I just freaking love Christmas!!
I didn’t always love Christmas. There were several years where I dreaded seeing the first polar bear Coke commercial. Five years ago this Christmas Day my husband passed away at the age of 28. Instead of waking up to find presents under the tree I woke up to my husband, not breathing. I don’t care who you are, that will put a damper on the day for years to come. I had a daughter who would never know her father and I’d lost my very best friend in the whole wide world. There are just some things Santa Clause can’t fix. For several years I became the world’s worst Grinch. No, I was worse than the Grinch. If Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch had a love child and raised that child on a diet of depression, anger, and regret, they would have named that baby Katie Harper.
Then it hit me, the reason I was so pissed during the holidays was because I’d allowed myself to be pissed. I had been incredibly selfish. My daughter didn’t have the happy memories and traditions that I’d grown up with. My family had to watch everything they said around me for fear that I might rip out their eyeballs and hang them on the tree. It hadn’t occurred to me that they had lost someone they loved too. So, I pulled up my big girl panties and decided to focus on the people who were still in my life. I dove head first into every silly Christmas activity my mom could think of. I made cookies. I bought out the toy store for my daughter. I sang carols. I took drives to see the lights. I forced myself to participate in Christmas. Then the next year I made myself enjoy Christmas. And the next year I actually looked forward to it. Don’t get me wrong, I still have very bad days during the holiday season. Usually, on Christmas Eve, I find a quiet room where I sit and cry. There will always be an empty stocking and gifts never given. But there will also be buckets of laughter and years of time spent with the people I love.