Every year I look forward to Christmas. I’ve always loved the feeling in the air as it approaches. Every one seems a little bit friendlier and moods seem a little bit lighter – except on Black Friday of course! Carols fill the air at shopping venues, lights twinkle brightly and the smell of fireplaces brings a feeling that is unmatched. This year, however, a feeling that can only be closely compared to dread has accompanied the anticipation of the holidays. I’m still HAPPY they’re here, I’m just kind of afraid of how I’ll handle them.
I keep thinking that the more I “fake it,” the easier it’ll get. So, last night my husband and I began decorating for Christmas. I turned on Christmas music and made homemade Apple Cider. Garland, bows, lights, Nativity (a collaboration of mine and my husband’s talents), Christmas Village (made by me!), Snowmen, Nutcracker, Candles… EVERYTHING!!! I haven’t been feeling all that great lately, so I didn’t get much further than a couple of strands of lighted garland hung. Tonight, however, I was feeling a little better after some MUCH NEEDED rest and once again, turned on the Christmas music and began the process of putting up the tree.
I LOVE LIGHTS! I probably use 6 strands at LEAST and I weave them on every single branch. I used to like only white lights, but my husband has kinda converted me to colored lights (DON’T TELL HIM!). After all the lights were on the tree and I had everything set just how I wanted it, I began to dig through our ornaments. My husband and I started a tradition on our honeymoon, which is buying Christmas ornaments from the places we visit because we both LOVE Christmas so much! We have this AMAZING ornament from Atlantis along with others from Myrtle Beach, Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and others. Plus we got quite a few from friends from after we got married. In addition to those, I have added a few to our collection that I have made myself! I made some little Snowmen ornaments and I also bought some clear glass ornaments and filled one with our wedding invitation – cut into pieces and curled along with paper that matched our wedding colors – and then I also filled another with the roses from our 1 year wedding anniversary. Sadly, the 1 year wedding anniversary ornament didn’t make it! Here is a peek:
As I was digging through the box, I also found this:
What is that, you ask? That is the one glass ornament I saved – to fill with an ultrasound picture and a Baby Shower Invitation. Seeing that ornament empty struck me harder than I expected and the next thing I knew, I was sitting on the floor in front of the Christmas tree crying. I didn’t expect that ornament to be empty again this year. There are little reminders everywhere of the emptiness that I feel. Some days are easier to be strong than others. Some days I can brush away the tears and move on. Other days, it’s like a faucet that’s sprung a leak and there’s not enough duct tape in the world to stop the flow. And I think that’s part of why I’m afraid of the holidays this year.
After I pulled myself together, and only with one or two temper tantrums, I finished putting up our Christmas tree. And it looks beautiful (even if I do say so myself). My husband even COMPLETELY decked out our patio! His excitement for this time of year is contagious, so I’m hoping I’ll catch some of it! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…. I’m SO glad that I have him by my side.
Don’t get me wrong. That is NOT going to stop me from enjoying them! I am going to drag myself – probably often kicking and screaming – through this next month with a SMILE on my face! I’m still debating whether I’m going to use that ornament this year anyway for someone who deserves it and then buy more when our miracle comes – or keep it, as a reminder that we have hope for that miracle. After all, that’s what Christmas is about, right? HOPE.