And the choir sang, "It's the most wonderful time of the year." Not sure if it's the mesmerizing lights, the fairy tale that Santa is stuffing himself down the chimney at a quarter past midnight to lay the gifts out in perfect formation or if it truly is the most magical and wondrous time of the year. Pretty safe to say it's all a matter of opinion. For children, they really don't have much of a choice. Falling into a hypnotic trance because what their parents say must be true. Leave the fresh baked cookies out for Santa and if you wake to try and sneak a peek at your presents you will find a lump of coal in your stocking. One of the hardest things for a child is going to sleep on Christmas Eve.
With an overabundance of Christmas movies flooding every channel, decorations in nearly every store you walk into and hints that you should get in the spirit, you do just that or make a failed attempt at pretending.
Having spent several holidays without my family and some not in a relationship, I know all too well how both sides of the fence looked. Constant questions asking what my plans for the holiday would be and the surrounding hoopla that I needed to do something to prove I was not a distant cousin of the Grinch. I had really great friends who would invite me over to share in the festivities with their families so the choice was mine. Stay home and feel a tad bit lonely, or get out of the house and allow the kindness of others to warm my spirit.
The feeling of loneliness can be quite overwhelming, especially during the holidays. Triggers are real and to the person thinking, "hmm, I wonder, what do the lonely do at Christmas?" It's best to refrain from asking personal questions, however, It's perfectly fine to extend an invitation and even better for the person who is on the receiving end. For those who are spending their first holiday without their loved one's by their side it can be especially hard. Allow the person to handle this feeling in their own way and time. If spending the holiday season alone is what's best, then so be it. If planning to be surrounded by others, then the more the merrier.
Just as always, we find ourselves in disbelief that the holiday season is upon us once again, and so soon. This is only a thought of someone well into their mid 20's, or perhaps a little older. Once the mid-teen years have approached, the kids no longer wake their parents at 5 in the morning, they are instead concerned with sleeping in and planning their outfit for the day in preparation for the grand gift opening. As a holiday tradition, the tree went up in our house shortly after Thanksgiving. The gifts seemed pretty light until around the 20th when there were a few perfectly wrapped hints under the tree. By Christmas morning our living room looked as if our house was the last stop for Santa. Granted there were five of us in a household it was almost too much. Thankful yet and still for the memories.
Even though I am spending the holiday season with family this year, the times I spent in solitude allow me to have a special kind of respect for those who are facing the holiday season away from family or absent of that special someone. There is a reason and purpose for this walk in life, take your time in finding yours and one day it will all make sense.
From me to all of you, may your holiday season be a blessed one. Warm wishes for a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year!
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman