I’ve never quite had a true “Blue Christmas.” To some it’s just a song. To others it’s truly an entire month of intense emotions that hit you in mere seconds. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas-and it’s beyond difficult to face. The holiday lights are up and as I drive through my neighborhood another new house glimmers each day. Christmas trees in the windows. Holiday music in every.single.store. I try to tune it out but the feeling of holiday spirit is simply in the air. And it’s gut wrenching-because I want to feel that way too. I love Christmas time but this year I feel a bit like the Grinch.
I see the constant Facebook pictures of kids with Santa, decorating Christmas trees and stockings hanging by the fire-place. Daily updates of that (creepy) little Elf on the Shelf guy-no offense but he scares me. Holiday shows and commercials fill up very channel on TV. It’s a magical time of the year. And I want so deeply to feel the magic.
There is no Christmas tree in our home this year, no lights or wreaths hanging in the windows. No holiday songs playing while we cook dinner. Just one mini nativity set with Mary, Joseph and Jesus in a manger sitting on the piano with candles on each side. Just one stocking hanging to honor our baby and a little tree for Jake next to his candle. Because whether he is here or not…it’s still my baby’s first Christmas. I decorated his light house and refreshed the flowers.
As sad as I am…I try to remind myself that it’s not about me. Christmas. It’s only about our Savior. And maybe all of the commercial holiday “stuff” that makes everything feel magical is the farthest things from what the magical feeling is supposed to be. It’s all about that manger. A stripped down, simple yet purposeful holiday is all I can hope for this year. I can’t deny the pain. I can’t and won’t hold back the tears. I thought this would be the year for us-the year we would hang a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament on the tree. I envisioned visiting my family with my sweet boy with a white Christmas and a feeling so complete that nothing could tear down my joy.
To be honest-it’s just hard, really really hard to see the world so cheerful. Especially the families’ with new babies. So dear friends and family, please forgive me if I seem a little distant these days. I feel very distant from my own self. They said it would be hard…the holidays that is…but this is a whole different kind of hard.
It’s even hard to write. I don’t have the words, I don’t have the ambition or even a clear enough mind to process what I am feeling. A blue Christmas it is, a very blue one indeed.
But we won’t mope around as much as we want to. My husband wants us to give back, in honor of Jake. So that’s what we will do. We will be at the Children’s Hospital giving back on Christmas Eve. And it may hurt a little but I think it will be more of the opposite. I think our grinchy hearts will grow and grow and grow.
Some of the most painful things we have chosen to face have been the most healing. Being Grinchy doesn’t feel good. We can’t help it but we are working on it. Please be gentle with those who are having a difficult Christmas this year. They wish more than anyone that they didn’t feel that way, I can assure you of that. But pain is pain, loneliness is loneliness, grief is grief and the holidays expose that times a million.
As hard as it is to say these words this year, have a Merry Christmas loved ones and we will try to do the same.