A friend's post about Christmas songs got me thinking. I really. Love. Christmas. I enjoy the songs, the apple cider, the smell of Fir in the living room, the wrapping, the lights, everything!
It wasn't always like this. I don't think I truly enjoyed a Christmas my whole young adult life. In fact, I remember vividly the Spirit of Christmas dying inside me the first year my parents were divorced and they still managed to scream at each other and my big sister in our living room despite the fact that they didn't live together anymore.
Even when I quit drinking there were years when all I did was sleep in marathon AA meetings because everyone was out of town and I either didn't have a car or had to work or something. I did, however receive a present from my step mom in that first year that showed me that the healing had begun. She had told my I had one chance to make things right. I got sober and the present basically told me that I was on the right track.
Still, Christmas was hard. I was in an abusive relationship between one and three years sober and wasn't aware that what was happening to me was actually abuse. I didn't ever receive a Christmas present from this man, but would make homemade cards and things for him. I got the sense that Christmas shouldn't really mean anything to anybody, if it's no big deal to the man you think you love.
I finally left that relationship in the Spring of 2006 and started dating Chris that June. Here was a man that appreciated me, opened doors for me, let me into his heart and helped me learn to let others into mine. Chris is festive during the holidays, giving me "hints" as to what he's gotten me or texting me just to tell me my present is being tracked by UPS and will reach the mail box in such-and-such days. He's included me with his family and has been willing to put up with the split-household holiday run that so many kids from broken homes have to grow up and deal with.
I love my man with all my heart for many things, but saving Christmas for me as a time to appreciate family, friends and togetherness is pretty high up there on the list, let me tell you.So now I sing along to the Christmas music, even when it's played before Thanksgiving (a cardinal sin, really), I play with Christmas bows and put them on my head, I get quirky things from gift stores when I can't afford them to give to people just to show them I appreciate them. That is what the season is all about.