Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Cheer

I've been sitting here with a white page and blinking cursor for a long time.  It's not flowing like it sometimes does.  Maybe I'm backlogged; its been a crazy few weeks.  Maybe I've been putting it off because numb can get me through some of the rough patches sometimes.  Only not really. 

But I'm here now.  It's dark and quiet.  My tea is cold and almost gone.  The Littles are sleeping.  The Hubs is working late.  The dogs are snoring away on the couch.  I've already closed off the heating vent in the kitchen to help keep the bedrooms warmer, so I'm getting chilled.  And tired, but that's never new.  

And it's December and I'm reluctantly unpacking the Christmas Cheer.  My kitchen table is sporting my late Grandmother's tablecloth with red poinsettias and candles all around the border.  The advent candles are hanging with a Santa and Mrs. Claus salt and pepper set in the middle of the table.  From my perch I can see into the living room and see the Santa pillow my mom made me the first year we were married.  And the stocking are hanging above the fireplace, all twelve of them, because who doesn't double up?  Maybe that's a story for another day, though.  All five copies of The Night Before Christmas are stacked on the hearth, right next to the cardboard box boat, complete with two steering wheels and a larger than life Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles balloon acting as sail. 

It's amazing how something so buoyant can weigh a lady down.  That balloon is still from Jameson's birthday.  It's been floating in our living room since September 14th and I can't believe it's still here.  Part of me wants to pop it.  I want to take scissors to ever mylar balloon in the world, because balloons are part of the hospital.  Winter, holidays, balloons, snow, Christmas music.  It's all ruined. 

I used to be the girl that had to have a tree the day after Thanksgiving.  And it would stay up until mid-January.  I used to decorate the whole house.  Santa cookie jars, garland hanging from the ceiling, tinsel, millions of twinkle lights.  I'd start playing my Christmas CD's in October and wear jingle bell necklaces and Santa hats to work with my suit and heels.  I really did make a different cookie every single day for two weeks leading up to Christmas.  Because who doesn't love Christmas? 

But what happens when it's not the most wonderful time of the year?  What happens when it's a season of loss and pain and emptiness instead? 

And I don't want to be a Scrooge.  And I don't want my kids to have sad memories and miss out on the magic, because I wish I still had it too. 

But how do I decorate my living room with that damn balloon still center stage? 

I do do it though.  I have the radio on the Christmas channel -and it's a really good one, because they never play that awful shoe song-  and I sing along.  And I light the Advent candles on Sundays and we will decorate all week long until it's done and the kids are happy and excited.  And the cookies will begin once I stock back up on butter (I'm down to a mere 4 pounds now).  It'll be magical for them. 

As for me, well, I'm settling into the idea that it is okay to be broken.  It's okay to bring a broken Hallelujah. 

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