First and foremost, Merry Christmas!
Sitting here at the dinner table amongst the smells of bacon cooking, the sound of some backwoods Blues band on the TV and T’s sniffles… I can safely say that I made it through another Christmas season (so far) and since you are reading this then so can you. Congrats to us all.
Over the centuries Christmas has become less about the celestial Winter Solstice celebration it started out as and more about the commercialized cultural phenomenon that it is today… Lest we never forget that Christmas, more importantly, is about the birth of Christ. I don’t remember a Christmas when my family thanked God for the miracle of his son and rather ripped into our gifts under the tree thanking whoever gave them to us; mom, dad, Santa… the dog. Clearly I did not grow up in a religious household. Do you have to be religious to thank God for the birth of his son? No. I would like to say that in my own way I silently thanked him but the truth would be far from that. Until recently I never thought to thank God for the gift of his son. Actually, I never thought to even thank God period for the gift of my own life but, this isn’t what I wanted to talk about. What I really can’t understand is how as a society we have gotten so far from the original meaning behind Christmas.
In the early 1800’s American’s started celebrating Christmas by using it as the one day in the year they could appear to not be spoiling their children, by showering their children with lavish gifts and attention in response to the cultural needs of our own growing nation. Well this Nation certainly has grown over the decades. What used to be lavish in the 1800’s certainly didn’t include laptops, lottery tickets, gift cards, and hundreds of dollars worth of other stuff that we certainly don’t need, but want. Now don’t get me wrong… I love to spoil T just as much as the next person likes to spoil their own kids, I just wish it wasn’t expected. Whatever happened to homemade gifts or the gift of your time? Perhaps this is something I will bring back next year with my family. HA!!
As a single mother I was never one to be out spending thousands of dollars on toys and clothes and, shoes that would just end up in the donation-bin before next Christmas “because we have to make room for new stuff!” I did what I could, fortunately it was enough to ensure that T never had a less than stellar Christmas. Between my parents and I, T always, to this day, got everything on her list and then some.
Come on people… there is no need to go broke and end up in debt going into the New Year because of one holiday. Who actually decided that Christmas should be the holiday that we gift give? We did! We decided that this is how we wanted to celebrate the birth of Christ however, we can thank author’s such as Dickens and Irvine for bringing Christmas celebrations back into the light after they were banned by English Puritans. Did you know that while Christmas was banned if you got caught celebrating or displaying any Christmas spirit no matter how minute, you were fined five shillings?! That’s roughly $2.94 in US Dollars today.
OK OK… Enough with the history lesson.
On to the pity party!!!!
So… In researching all of the history behind this day, I was trying desperately to avoid my Facebook, Instagram and other social media feeds because, as if I needed another reminder, I am not getting engaged today, I am not getting a new car from my husband today, I am not showing off my new home decorated to the nines today, I am not popping any “baby on the way” news and lastly, I am not gushing over how happy I am to be spending Christmas with my new boyfriend. This does not mean that I begrudge any of the people who are doing these things anything at all. Quite the contrary, I am very happy for everyone who is celebrating a ring, a baby, a car, a home and a new relationship. Enjoy every moment of it because you deserve this happiness and more.
Of course it doesn’t stop a person from wishing it was them. This is the first Christmas in two years (a very small amount of time in the grand scene of things) that I am not celebrating with my boyfriend because we broke up in March. It’s still a bit of a pill to swallow especially when you see everyone around you so happy and in love. Naturally, you want that too. Someday I suppose.
In the meantime, I plan to spend the rest of my day watching T consumed by her phone, my brother drink and cook, my dad flit about restless and in need of something to do and my mom… well I’ll just keep answering the same questions that she asked ten minutes ago. That’s just a small part of what sucks about Dementia/Alzheimer’s, the repeat questions. For example, she just asked me when we were going to open presents. We did that five hours ago. OH… and laundry. I’m doing laundry today.
Rather than depressing you any further, I’m just going to say Merry Christmas!! I hope that all of your Christmas wishes have come true and that your family enjoys every moment spent together.
Until next time!