“There are some people who want to throw their arms around you simply because it’s Christmas; there are other people who want to strangle you simply because it’s Christmas.”
~ Robert Staughton Lynd
What’s interesting is actually part of my Christmas memories and pieces of home actually kind of revolve around parades and concerts. We never went to parades. Too many people, too much congestion, and all that jazz. But we did always watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. My grandmother would always call up early in the morning to make sure we had it on. At the very least, she always made sure that I saw my Peanuts balloons. And Christmas wasn’t allowed to start happening until Santa arrived at the end. I still feel that way and practice that.
And then there were the concerts. I can guarantee I am the only person I know (outside of my sister) who grew up having mini Christmas concerts around the organ in our own home. My mother was an organist and we had both a piano and an organ in our apartment at the end of our store. Every year, we would gather around it while Mom played and we all sang together. She had sheet music from the ’60s as well as an entire songbook from Reader’s Digest that was all Christmas songs. We were also the only kids I knew who knew “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” well before all of these radio stations started playing Christmas music ad nauseum 24/7. I still have a lot of that music.
What are some of your favorite Christmas pieces of home that you carry with you in your heart?
Earlier I posted about how the Christmas season can make you sad. But you can still learn to love it. Watch the excitement of young children. Wrap yourself up in warm memories. And instead of waiting for the New Year to try to let go of the bad, start now. A New Year can start at any time you want it to, not just at the beginning of the calendar year.
It’s not always easy to do. I totally get that. The hardest thing to do is to take that first step. But I have confidence that you will find that once you start, it will be easy to continue. Remember that every little step counts and helps. Journal if you need to, to help you reflect on what needs to change and how differently you’ll feel as you do it. Remember to breathe, to love, and to let go.
Have you ever noticed this phenomenon? I keep seeing more and more about it in the news these days, talking about how we start listening to Christmas music too soon and it ends up making us feel worse as opposed to happy. We put so much stress on ourselves to create the perfect holiday, and end up feeling miserable. And then for people like me, maybe you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one. This is my first year as a true orphan, as my mother died back in August. I also lost my great-aunt and my aunt that month. A month later, my best friend’s father died. This all after losing friends earlier in the year. Needless to say, 2018 has seriously sucked. And yeah, I’m feeling this for sure this year.
Now, please don’t worry about me. I am okay. It will be okay. I have a great support system and take things one day at a time. But my question to you is, do you have that support system? Do you know people who need that support system? Friends of mine recently lost their son, whom they thought was okay, but was deftly hiding severe depression.
Remember that there’s no such thing as a perfect Christmas. Sometimes it’s those glitches that make it even more memorable and worthy of stories for years and years to come. Keep tabs on how you are feeling. Check in regularly with your loved ones to make sure they are okay. Learn the signs of depression. And if you’re feeling lost, please reach out for help, such as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.