The Christmas Horse


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.

17 thoughts on “The Christmas Horse”

  1. Oh May. I am so proud of you. What a strong and independent woman you’ve bexome, perhaps because of all you’ve faced. What a glorious example of peace and joy you are now sharing with your beautiful girls and husband. You share such a bounty of creative resources with all of us that I am deeply grateful for. This season, and through out the new year, I wish you peace, joy, health, and happiness. You deserve all of that and more! Hugs!!!!

  2. What a great post and a reminder that we control how we view a situation and that we need to remember to love ourselves! That cute little christmas horse is a perfect reminder of a wonderful lesson learned!

  3. Great post, and some attitude I’m going to borrow from you and apply to my life!
    I love how real you are. Enjoy your holidays and family!

  4. What a beautiful story and a kick in the pants for all of us feeling sorry for ourselves right now! Thank you!

  5. Merry Christmas May to you and your family. This reminded me of an Easter I spent alone and did the same as you. I love your story and how you were able to take a positive attitude. Looking back we’ve come a long ways and that’s what counts.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. Before this year, I probably would not have understood it. There is a lot of truth in what you have said. Enjoy your time with the kids, relax, laugh, unwind. Merry Christmas!

  7. Wgat a great story. You have such a great writing style May and I love how you can always find the good on things. Your horse is very cute. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas. Btw, what are crinkles? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of them

  8. Just now reading this post….which I could have read this Christmas Eve morning. Disappointments filled the day and by the evening, tears were flowing. You are right May….you are right.

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