Another year is upon us, and while this year finishes, and the last weeks settle, I can`t help but feel a whole lot of emotions.
2019 has been quite a year for me, and I`m really not sure if I am ready for this holiday season to be here.
When I look back on my childhood, my favourite memories of Christmas was always the time I spent with my family. On Christmas Eve, every single year, I would go to my Grandma`s during the day for lunch, and all my cousins, aunts and uncles would be there. For dinner, I would go to my other grandparents house.
I grew up loving Christmas Eve. more than Christmas Day.
Christmas Day was spent at home opening presents. Most years my mom cooked a beautiful dinner. But, that would mean she had to be busy preparing, which I never thought was fair to her.
My grandparents have now all passed away, and once that happened, families grew apart.
Now, I am a mama to 3, and I feel sad about Christmas quite often. My children won`t ever feel that magic that I felt. Or, if they do, I`m not aware of it.
I knew there was no Santa from a very young age, but that was just not what it was about for me. I didn`t care about the gifts either. I appreciated them of course, but it was really just about my family to me. Even as a small child.
I grew up with the thinking that there was nothing more important than family, so 1 whole day where that was what it was all about, was incredible to me. It was a day where everyone was on the same page. We were all together for the same reason. To celebrate our time together.
Throughout the years my family has been hit with multiple tragedies as I`m sure a lot of families have been, but one thing always remained certain.
We would all come together on Christmas Eve.
This was something I had grown up to be able to count on. It meant so much to me.
My grandparents have all passed away, and the family no longer comes together.
And while one can say to make the most of my time with my children, there is still a piece of me that feels like a child at the holidays as well, and craves all that laughter and cheer from my aunts and uncles.
I can`t give my children the same experience that I had, and for that I am sad.
I don`t have a large family, and many members I simply don`t have a relationship with. Sometimes it`s grudges and old issues that get in the way of holiday spirit.
Though I try my best to ensure they have a beautiful holiday, I know that it won`t compare to what my parents gave me. Having that opportunity to make all those memories with my family is something that I hold so close to my heart now.
I worry so often that my children will grow up and think I short-changed them on their holidays, but I can`t give a lot. I can give my hugs, smiles, and kisses, but I can`t make people be here, and I can`t bring back special people whom we have lost.
One can hope that it`s not how they will see things, and maybe that is accurate. Maybe they will only remember the magic I tried to sprinkle everywhere for them. Like I remember of my parents.
The holidays are such an incredible time of year, but also so unbearably hard for many.
The toll on finances, on mental health, and on time just to start, can be a huge stress.
My children look forward to the presents, and I sometimes feel as if that means I have failed them. I looked forward to the people. They look forward to the stuff. And, while I don`t love Christmas any more, I work hard to create a magical and sparkly home for them, to the best of my abilities.
I look forward to watching them grow excited as Santa`s arrival gets closer and closer, but I grow sadder and sadder as the anniversaries of lost loved ones comes closer and closer as well.
It is such a strange season to try to balance so many different feelings, and I`m sure many of you can relate.
Be gentle with yourself. This is what I try to remind myself as well. We are all here, trucking along, doing the best we can.
Whatever the holiday season means for you, please know you are not alone. Please know that it is okay to say no to anything that doesn`t feel good to your mental/physical health.
This year, I am going to try to find more excitement buried under all the hurt and pain I carry. I`m going to try to find joy in the small things, like I was lucky enough to grow up with.
I grew up never caring about Santa, but about my parents. In my eyes, they were who created the magic. My mom sprinkled glitters and homemade cookies everywhere she went, and while doing that, still never ran out of patience for the `how many more sleeps until Christmas Eve`questions.
Her patience spoke to my soul, and calmed my anxiety, and helped me so much more than I could ever put into words.
Life has not always been so kind to my family, especially at this time of the year, and has brought so much heartbreak and tears. This year, I hope I can be more like how my mom was for me.
No matter what was going on with her, Christmas was always magical for us kids. I don`t know how she always did it, but every year, even now, (and I am almost 30), she creates a winter wonderland that makes you want to believe in magic.
I want to create such hope for my children that they believe in magic too.