I wasn’t going to write about Christmas, but here I am at 6am on Christmas Eve morning, reading lots of posts about Christmas, and I felt like adding my seasonal voice to the mix. Let me start by saying, I love Christmas!
When I was a child, my Mom adored being festive; she had boxes of decorations for every holiday and made sure that the rooms, windows and exteriors of the house were appropriately adorned. Christmas was her favorite; although Halloween did run a pretty close second. Every year, upon the arrival of December, my Mom would open the plethora of Christmas boxes, overflowing with elf figurines, tiny trees, dancing Santas, lights, paper cutout snowflakes and every other (non religious) Christmas decoration you could imagine, and transform our house into a seasonal feast for the eyes.
During the first week of December, she would bring home the tree. She lit a fire and made pots of tea and we spent the day decorating the fragrant branches with ornaments that had been around since before I was born. My moms exuberance about the holiday was catching and we couldn’t help but be swept away in it; she made the entire month of December shiny and joyful and fun. We celebrated the season and the month of December, not just one day. It was a celebration of life and of love; it was a time to wrap up in the comfort of home and family. We were lucky.
My Mom never lost her love of Christmas, even when she got sick. I was 13 when she was diagnosed with cancer, but even in the years when she was the sickest, she had a magical ability to conjure up joy. For her very last Christmas, my mom was in the hospital, but she insisted that we celebrate. We brought Christmas to her hospital room and she, as always, brought love and light.
8 days after Christmas, my Mom died. For years, I couldn’t celebrate Christmas, and when I tried, it felt empty and wrong. It was as if the light of Christmas had been extinguished with my Mom’s light. After her death, I slipped into darkness; I couldn’t breathe or feel anything. Christmas became something to dread, because she wasn’t there to make it beautiful, to bring it to life.
I turned my back on Christmas, rejected its trappings and merriment, but time and love eventually brought me back into the arms of the season. I came to a place where I could feel grateful for having known and loved someone as magical as my Mom, rather than just feeling the pain of her absence. I started thinking about how lucky I was to have had a Mom who made Christmas so special. I was slowly coming around, and then, 9 years ago, I met my husband and found myself actually getting excited about Christmas. With my husband, I found joy and home, and I wanted to share a little bit of my Mom’s magic, which, I realized, had been with me all along.
December 24, 2017 at 8:04 am
I think Christmas is a very delicate experience. I am glad your mom continues to light the way for your inner journey. May you and yours be deeply immersed in joy.
December 24, 2017 at 8:50 am
Thank you Michael! I wish you love, light and joy this season!
December 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm
When my father died, it was the day after New Year’s Day, and we’d been told on New Year’s Eve that he wouldn’t make it. So the Christmasses after that were a bit sombre for Mum and I for a few years, while we tried to get everything in place to move to London. Last year, 6 years after Dad’s passing, we finally managed to relocate – but it was just before Christmas, so everything was too chaotic to really celebrate it. But this year we’re properly settled and have been able to treat and indulge ourselves, to celebrate a successful year starting this new chapter in our lives. So this is the happiest and most relaxed Christmas we’ve had for a long time, it’s a relief to finally be at this point.
I’m glad things have worked out so well for you, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas this year! 🙂
December 24, 2017 at 4:03 pm
Glen – Thank you for sharing your story with me. It is almost identical to mine; we also were told the day of New Years Eve and my mom died on January 2. But, time truly does heal, and I am so glad to hear that you and your Mum are enjoying Christmas together this year. I know the year has been one of so much adventure for you and the excitement in your writing is palpable. I hope you are celebrating with joy and exuberance as I type this. My best wishes to you, for a beautiful Christmas and an amazing New Year!
December 24, 2017 at 4:21 pm
Thanks for sharing! My Grandpa passed away 3 days ago, so Christmas is quite different for our family this year.
December 25, 2017 at 10:02 am
Oh Stephanie, I am so sorry for your loss. I know it is hard, but I promise you, time will heal. Sending lots of love your way.
December 25, 2017 at 10:18 am
Hey Love! I haven’t #blogmingled…Lol with you in a while! How are you today?
December 25, 2017 at 1:31 pm
Hi! Merry Christmas! You are a total blogging powerhouse and super amazing! I am doing great! Sending lots of love your way!
December 26, 2017 at 3:45 pm
Thanks so much!
December 26, 2017 at 7:29 am
Absolutely wonderful story of love, loss, redemption and renewal, Susan. Your style has a way of capturing the triumph of the spirit that encompasses this time of year. I hope you had an amazing Christmas Day and hope for the same, every day, as we head towards that new year. Happy Holidays to you and yours!!!
December 26, 2017 at 8:28 am
Your generosity to me about my writing is so lovely! Thank you so much Tom! I hope you had a beautiful day yesterday and that your New Year is outstanding. You are a thoughtful, brilliant writer and so very kind. All my best to your and yours!
December 26, 2017 at 9:19 am
Thank you, and you’re welcome! We had an amazing, whirlwind of a holiday weekend. I’m blessed with dozens of people in my community who love to spend their time with Tom, being Tom (and his missus) and we made the most of the three-day recess!
Now, a recovery period must ensue until the next holiday weekend comes (next week). 😉
December 26, 2017 at 8:04 am
What a beautiful story thanks for sharing!!
December 26, 2017 at 8:29 am
Thank you Mandi! I hope you and your family had a lovely Christmas. I have to tell you that you are totally inspiring me to make some positive changes in the new year! You are awesome!
December 26, 2017 at 9:11 am
I am so happy you found that joy which had been a part of your childhood again. We wish you a very happy New Year 😊
December 26, 2017 at 10:39 am
Thank you! It gives me joy to think of you spending this season in beautiful Waldorf with your daughter and her family. Wishing you a happy New Year!
December 27, 2017 at 12:42 am
A merry Christmas and a happy New year!
December 27, 2017 at 7:07 am
Thank you! I wish you the same!
December 28, 2017 at 8:13 am
I don’t know why but i really enjoyed reading your post, its full of positivity and honesty.
I have just one post in my blog i would be glad if you read it and give your thoughts.
December 28, 2017 at 8:48 am
December 30, 2017 at 8:30 am
You are amazing, Susan. Thank you for sharing this with us. I didn’t know of your loss, but it does increase my admiration for you even more. Hope your holiday was full of magic and love. xo
December 30, 2017 at 8:38 am
Thank you Tanya! Happy New Year to you! I am very grateful to have you in my life.
January 1, 2018 at 11:48 am
As am I. Happy New Year, Susan!!
January 2, 2018 at 11:46 am
This is one powerful story. Hope you had enjoyable holidays.
January 2, 2018 at 3:11 pm
Thank you! You too!!!!
February 12, 2018 at 1:42 pm
I can understand the taint that covered the season. I am very, very glad you found some magic again to let your love of your mother show through during the season she loved.
February 12, 2018 at 4:30 pm
You have said it perfectly!!!!! Thank you!