The year was 1998, and I was shopping Target when I came across a display of Christmas horse stuffed animals. Oh… I just really badly wanted one. So I stood there and cried.
Poor me – this year I would be alone for Christmas. Nobody to cook my favorites for me, not having my own home or even my own room (LONG story) to decorate, my boyfriend working, and certainly nobody around that I could ask to gift me this fantastic horse. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more sorry for myself in my whole life.
Then I thought about what an ass I was being.
An adult woman, perfectly capable of spinning her own holiday happiness and cheer, sobbing because someone else wasn’t taking care of the seasonal magic for her.
I purchased the Christmas horse and a few baking supplies. I called Grandma and got her recipe for chocolate crinkle cookies (my favorite) and made a batch to share.
That Christmas was one of the worst – including being thrown a heavy paper bag and being told “this is from your mom for your stocking but we didn’t want to have to stuff it so here”…
But it’s ok.
I went and stuffed my own stocking then delighted in discovering the treasures.
I enjoyed solitude and reading a whole book with no interruptions.
I found joy in being alone on Christmas and I realized that there is only one person who can “ruin” the holidays for me.
So I make the most of whatever each year throws at me – from years where there is no money to buy gifts to years when I will be alone. Years where illness or loss puts a damper on the cheer to years when it is so busy it is hard to find time for details. Years overflowing with happiness and cheer? I soak in every moment. I don’t expect others to make magic for me, to entertain or host me – nope. If those things happen it is wonderful but I take responsibility for my own merriment.
And every year the Christmas horse comes out and sits by the tree. Reminding me that together we’ve been making each holiday season special to us in our own ways for 17 years.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone – whether it comes easily or with a struggle I hope you’re able to find some joy, make some cheer, and spread some holiday spirit this year.
I’m heading off-line for the weekend to enjoy a creative art unplugged few days with the kiddos – it should be peaceful and very fun.