Saturday, December 6, 2014
Joy from where I stand.
I love the holidays. I mean LOVE LOVE LOVE the holidays....in theory...... I love the celebrations, the get togethers, surprises, time spent just enjoying family and friends....all the stuff in the commercials and in my heart and mind. The problem with all that is that many times that isn't the reality and we start measuring up against commercials and our friends as they post their families all dressed up nice and share their party schedules for the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
And then there are the ones who bake and make and create amazing spreads of food and decor, they have family pouring into their homes and all kinds of wonderful memory making times. Multiple trees in the house all theme decorated and done with Pinterest worthy precision. Time set aside for traditions and gathering... This is all totally inspiring and awe worthy. And overwhelming.....
For a moment, let's consider those who don't have a house full of holiday enthusiasts, money is tight and even a new box of Christmas lights is has to be weighed as to whether it's a worthy purchase or frivolous. And what are we to do when we don't have invitations or places to go. No dressing up or holiday parties to attend... what about those people, how are they to celebrate and enjoy the holidays feeling left out and overlooked...
I've spent some years as one of those people and it's all my fault. I let the joyless spirit of someone else steal my joy or rather I gave up because I guess it was just easier than fighting the scroogeness. I stopped decorating with any enthusiasm, I stopped baking cookies (this is in some cases a good thing), I stopped thinking about Christmas cards, Christmas parties and social events.I did the bare minimum and wrapped myself in hurt and waited for the whole thing to be over. I've sat on Christmas Eve watching my family opening their pajamas knowing that there were none for me. I know I'm supposed to be an adult but truly that does sting a whole lot when nobody cares if you get any Christmas jammies. I've cried every Christmas for many years feeling left out and alone ...that is the truth. I gave away Christmas and I suffered for it. And I've probably not been a good Christmas mom to my children. I've tried to fake it but I'm pretty sure they saw right through all of that. Christmas for me has just sucked for a while...my fault but suckage just the same.
So what to do when money is still tight and there are still no invitations to parties or reasons to dress up? Well I believe I will start with a little joy...or a lot of joy. Shower with it, breathe it, say it, sing it, wear it, seek it and believe in it. And when you start to slip a bit...go find some more... I don't know what else to do. Being sad and feeling lonely is not the deal. Filling myself with envy by looking at everyone else's Christmas morning pictures or wishing life had dealt me something more "fair"...not the deal...Joy is the deal. I know it sounds simple but honestly it's working. Every time I start to slip and believe me I do, I go outside, take a deep breath and remember that there is always love and it starts with me...I have two children left in my home for the holidays and the three of us deserve to feel the holidays even in the simplest forms. I have three grown children and five gorgeous grandchildren I don't see enough, and that will change, somehow, some way, I will fight for my Christmas joy and make sure the people I love know how much they matter.. I won't give up ever again
There will be cookie making tonight and hot chocolate with candy canes hanging on the edge of the cup. There will be a trip to a picture taking place tomorrow with my iPhone to take a picture for Christmas cards and in the boxes of mixed up Christmas decor in the garage there is enough stuff to make this little house sparkle enough that Santa would be proud. I will buy my own Christmas Jammies and rather than wallow in pity and the sting of no Jammies, I'll just fix it. My boys won't have to feel badly that they were not allowed to purchase anything for me because I will give them money to shop for me. I think I'll invite some girlfriends out for an ornament exchange and I'm going to dress up a little, rock my Grandmother's Christmas pin, drink something festive and laugh until my heart bursts wide open again.
My gifts are going to be simple, loving and handmade and I'm super excited to be working on something special for all the people I love. There is always a way to squeeze a lot out of a little but it's truly all about where your heart starts from. I won't have a Pinterest worthy Christmas tree in every room but you can believe that my little Christmas that Joy made will be sparkley and bright.....It may be from glitter, glue and cardboard but that's okay...it will shine....and I will remember this as the year I took my joy back...
I wish you all the best of holidays and please know that however much or how little you have, it's okay. Be happy my friends, it's going to be wonderful.
Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.