Christmas Past & Present

Many years ago I used to love Christmas, everything about it. When I met Tim ( I was 18 ) that slowly changed after the first few years we were together. About 4 years into our relationship he started getting grumpy just about Thanksgiving time, then as each year progressed he turned to mean, then even meaner. Then I dreaded Christmas. He ALWAYS hated the shopping part and refused to let me shop alone. I wasn't capable of picking "nice" gifts according to him, he said I had no taste and was not "original" in my choices. So, I had to wait for him to get ready to pick out our gifts. He'd put it off and put it off until almost the very last day, the day he would be at his worst. The day that lines were long, stock was gone, traffic was backed up to the ends of the earth. And all he did during those last few days was yell at me. It was my fault. I would suffer through each Christmas like this for at least 10 years. I stopped getting excited about putting up a tree, lights, the food, wrapping our gifts real pretty so they'd sparkle under the tree. I finally gave up. I gave up on Christmas.

Did I? Or did I just get old? It'll be 20 years this January that I left him. I haven't ever once missed him, but I miss being part of a couple. Maybe, just being single for so many years has dampened the joy of Christmas for me. Maybe he ruined it for me forever. I don't know but what I do know is that life without him is so much better than life was with him. The part about Chirstmas I stick to is the REASON for Christmas to begin with.

So this year I have decided to decorate the front of the house. Using some of what I've had packed away for so many years now and a few things that I purchased yesterday, I am on a mission to create a beautiful display. I have it all finished in my head but getting everything there has proven to be a small challenge. Not to mention that our weather yesterday was bone chilling cold and very windy. After 2 hours I was pretty chilled and finally gave up. Today, it's supposed to be warmer and so, I'm heading back out there.

I won't do much decorating inside. It's just me and Honey and no one really ever comes to visit so why bother? Everything out front will go on a timer so when I get home at night my lights will be on and it'll be pretty and welcoming for me. That's gonna be just fine for me.

Christmas Day will be spent right here, in the house that Sue & Tom have given me & Honey to live in. In many respects it's just another day, but in other respects it a day to celebrate. Celebrate 20 years of freedom and the day that more miracles are given around the world than any other day of the year. I am safe, warm, well fed and healthy. I have the best dog in the world, the best family and the ability and strength to continue my journey of moving forward.


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11 Responses to Christmas Past & Present

  1. Kzinti says:

    I don't like Christmas much because of the over-commercialization, but I never stood in the way of decorating or shopping. So sorry that things were so bad for you so long. It sounds like you've gotten to a good place now where you are comfortable enough to be you, and that's the best gift anyone could ever receive.

  2. That it has, but I like to stay focused on the purpose and go from there.
    In a very good place and content. I think the only reason I stayed so long was because it was a slow progression into a bad place and I became complacent to my situation. Also, I believed him when he said I'd never make it alone without him. Then one day it was like a switch flipped inside me and I was gone. Best thing I ever did for myself.
    Hope your Thanksgiving was good, great or fabulous!

  3. Christmas feeling lucky and loved, with your favorite doggy in a nice house of your own? Sounds like the perfect Christmas to me!

  4. Farfaraway says:

    I'm glad you're going to decorate…this will be my first year decorating, too, after many years of "abstention" from Christmas. I don't have anything, but I'm going to get some little stuff, because I want to enjoy Christmas again. I hope you like your decorations…maybe you can post some pictures for us to enjoy, too.

  5. Yup, just perfect. I can enjoy the true spirit of Christmas without any of the commercial stress.

  6. Thanks Far, and I hope that you enjoy the process and that it brings you joy.
    Well, my ideas are pretty good but it's execution that seems to have me puzzled. I might be overthinking how I'm going to get all of the plugs to each piece connected together. Lots of extension cords are lying around ready and waiting for me to figure it out!!!! You might just get pictures of extension cords!
    Thought about your trip to Baltimore, hope it was wonderful.

  7. lauowolf says:

    What may work is finding a way to re-create Christmas in a form you'll feel good about.The decorations is a great start.Maybe making something for people you care about?Small package of cookies wrapped up in a square of cloth?A handmade card.That kind of thing.Something that respects a feeling of connection without being overwhelming.

  8. Thank you lauowolf. I am excited about the outside decorations because I do love the lights at night and because mine will be different than most. I refuse blow-up characters and "cookie cutter" styles. Simple, welcoming and unusual, that's me.
    I make my cards almost every year, but my list is very small, so it's a good fit. I can make beautiful cards and only those closest to me get them. Also, due to my financial situation in recent years, I've often made my gifts. It might be a knitted pair of wrist warmers, a scarf or one of my handmade books or wall pieces. My family is my greatest gift each year. My closest sister knows what he did and every year has made sure I am at her house on Christmas day.
    I do get through it and won't let myself be sad and lonely. I stay possitive and focused on the reason for Christmas to begin with. For me it's about love, faith, joy and possibilities.

  9. lauowolf says:

    When my daughter was little she *loved* the lights at Christmas, enough so that we'd make special trips just to go see them.And big blow-up characters were not what she liked…So, yes, the decorating is a gift to your neighbors, and to the random passersby, little extra piece of light against the darkness,

  10. Farfaraway says:

    Ha ha, pictures of extension cords and strands of lights would pretty much sum up Christmas for most of us, I think!
    My goal is to buy a tree and stand this weekend. And maybe some simple ornaments and lights. Very excited!

  11. I think this is so positive!! I admire that you can recognize how your feelings have evolved and can see where it started.

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