Well as some of you may have guessed I have the christmas blues. Having christmas without family and relatives is new to me. I considered this holiday sacred and my year always stopped at christmas.. like I couldn’t even see past that date to make any social plans.
The wonder of it all started when I was really young. My dad carrying me down the stairs at my nanas house and a huge Christmas tree aglow with a million twinkling lights and ornaments and bubbling icicles.. under the tree presents all wrapped and filling every inch of space under and around that tree.. Christmas was magical and I was entranced! That is my earliest memory and I have never forgotten it.. or the vision is burned into my memory banks.
We went through many tough times as a family.. growing with another baby every year.. this was before birth control. Ours was not a quiet and ordered household uh uh. Loud and noisy and never enough of anything to go around. My parents marriage was doomed from the start but they had love for us kids.
Somehow they managed to make Xmas magical, for that was my moms legacy from her mom.. my nana. Nana decorated the whole house and there was always presents for every single one of us including one from Santa as well!
We spent a lot of Christmases’ with my nana as did my cousins, sometimes having three families and great grandma living in one big huge house. I loved Xmas and I loved my bride dolls (which I got more than once… I wonder what happened to the previous ones?) did they get married and move away? Or did they move in with their nanas? hmmmm
AND my doctor set. I still remember how mad I was at my sister for eating all the candy pills while I was away on an overnight sleepover with my other Baba. Oh ya.. I remember all the important stuff!
I also remembered when it all ended for me as a kid.. I was eleven and that was the year everything ended. My mom sending me to the store Xmas eve with bottles to buy candy for our stockings because my dad was still not home from work and he was probably drinking with his friends again.
I felt such a sense of loss and then such a big responsibility. I know it was dark out as I walked to the store and the guy at the store was wondering why I was buying so much candy. I member being ashamed as I told him about my dad. When I brought it all home my mom couldn’t’ believe how much stuff those bottles bought!
My mom must have been very upset and mortified that she needed to ask me to do this. Well to make a long story short the following Christmas my dad screwed up yet again and we had absolutely no money to pay bills let alone have a Christmas! My dad had gambled his whole paycheck in a poker game while away somewhere on a construction job.
Mom phoned my gramps and nana and they sent us train fare to get back to Saskatchewan from BC. My mom and six kids in tow .. one a baby in her arms. Whew… that musta been tough for her. Did I mention it was Christmas eve and I still remember tears flowing down my face as we pulled away from the train station waving goodbye to my dad? I wouldn’t see my dad again for four years.. I was twelve years old.
Ok now where was I.. ? Flash forward and to my own little family. Christmas at our house was always a big deal.. right down to the Xmas stockings which I made sure everyone got .. even after my kids were married! Their spouses got them as well and the grandkids.
Funny thing about that.. I tried to make it so special always spending more on stocking stuffers than I needed too (maybe it was like I was eleven yrs old again.. who knows?). Ah well.. then came the drawing of the names for gifts, everyone complied except me! Christmas was gradually taken away from me when we drew names for stockings!
I know everything changes and the divorce made it even more so. This will be my second Xmas without my son and daughter-in-law. My first without my daughter and grandkids. I finally understand why some hate Christmas and others suffer through it.
Yesterday my girlfriend and I ventured to old town Yuma and found a wonderful park beside the Colorado river. We packed a lunch and settled in to enjoy the view and the people watching.
We packed a mini beer and a bottle of wine that had I/3 left in it. (ya.. last of the big time drinkers.. ). There was an old gal at another table having some lunch from her backpack and when we were trying to open the beer without an opener she offered that she had one somewhere and started digging.
We started an easygoing conversation and when we were halfway through I asked where she lived and she said in one of those bushes by the river. “It is not so bad in the cooler months because the snakes don’t come out .. it is too cold for them” she easily shared this good thing with us.
We left her the rest of our lunch and a plan started formulating in the back of my head. She has quite a story to tell but I can’t share it because I don’t have all of it. I am still kinda shell shocked by this random encounter. Needless to say.. I just got my attitude adjustment big time… yep..
Stay tuned ….