Losing my Christmas Spirit
This year I began my holiday preparations early. I started my holiday layaway in July. Making payments every week even though I had lost my job after returning from summer vacation. I would not let the economy foster or predict Christmas of 2015.
I began to put holiday lights on the house two weeks before Thanksgiving. It was nothing elaborate, but after recovering from a very painful injury, surgery, three weeks of bedrest, crawling up and down the stairs of my home on all fours and scooting on a scooter, while my neighbors continued to park in front of my house I would not let the last Christmas before my son went off to college to be ruined.
Hours of watching holiday movies on the Hallmark Channel, hours upon hours of baking for the troops in my spouse’s Army unit my spirit level was in the high marks. The holiday season was full of bonding with my son and husband as we went to dinners, visited Christmas lights and as they helped me packed the baked goods for the troops.
Sounds perfect, so how did it all just go to shit?
It all began with the best of my intentions for the Senior holiday party my son asked me to make my grandmother’s recipe of rocky road fudge or my own chocolate chip cookies. For some wild crazy reason, I did not do either; instead, I went out to purchase one of those fancy cookie cakes with a colored icing drawing of a Christmas tree and the message of “Merry Christmas Class of 2016.”
Unknowing that this would upset him, as each day passed he got more and more passive aggressive towards me. Then Friday night before Christmas, I pushed my family again to do more holiday events. We piled in the car to see the live Nativity scene. My son was rude, but quiet, my husband was distracted, but we went even with the family dog.
As we drove through the holiday light displays my son and husband began to spout out knowledge of the Angels in the bible. I began to interject, but only to hear from my husband, “I am Catholic. I know about Angels. I am not sure what bible you read.”
I am Methodist. I am the smartest person to attend service and often I don’t, but I do read the bible almost every day. Then my teenage son began to spice things up with his own comments.
Once out of the park, my husband exclaims, “Let’s drive by the movie theater to see the turnout on the Star Wars movie.” Which we did. We drove around the parking lot. Across the street from the movie theater was a home with beautiful lights. I demanded with great energy, “Let’s drive through to look at the lights.” We did. Then out of the conversation, my son and husband begin to exclaim how I have nothing positive to say about the movie theater. I try to defend myself, but under the two I felt very attacked. I wept. Then my weepy tears became small rivers. My perfect holiday was coming to a crash.
The battle continued to the point where my son was telling me how he was disgusted with my political point of views. Over and over I felt battered with each verbal blow. Back at home, I took my dog and retreated to the bedroom to cry myself to sleep.
The next morning we woke up at 7 am to go watch Star Wars. The viewing of this movie was more important to my husband than anything I had ever witnessed in our ten plus years of marriage. After the movie, like every good battle never completed, it pressed on with more verbal attacks on one another.
My son, mad, upset and ashamed of me came to me to resolve the underlying issues that caused all his frustrations towards me. One after another fault of mine that came from his lips hurt but were true. I did not view the world’s problems the same as him. My fears of guns was real from my own experiences as his were not, because he never been in similar situations. My kind acts were not his wishes. My views of the holiday, bible, and religion were not the same. All these were true. Then I said, “Son, I am only a portion of your views. You were born of a man that no longer visits, talks or writes to you, but genetically you have some of his characteristics. Your step father has been nurturing you into a young man for over ten years, of course you are going to value his opinions and such. I don’t want you to be like me, or even like the same things I do. I just want you to be able to tolerate that I am who I am based on my experiences through life. My views are my own, but don’t judge me for them.”
Now, today is Sunday, four days before Christmas. My family has been shaken apart from our holiday spirit by our points of interest, actions, views and history, but I will not let the negativity destroy our holidays. Instead, I will not lose heart. Galatians 6:1-10 talks about in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
For any of you readers who have had Christmas stolen from you by loss of job, surgery or illness, miles apart, politics, financial hardships, deaths, injustices or anything else do not give up on your holiday spirit. There are so many places to fill up your spirit and break down the walls that separate us from our loved ones. My gift to you, is I love you all. I wish you all a Merry Christmas!