A strange Christmas

Saira Valley

Posted on December 25 2019

A strange Christmas

This year was a strange Christmas.  

I am usually a very festive person around the Holiday’s. I enjoy the gift giving, the wrapping and the celebration with food and lots of desert! I love being with my family and I love spoiling them with delicious food and thoughtful gifts. It was a holiday my mother treasured, and every year I try to honor her memory with reliving her traditions.

This year I just didn’t have the spirit, and I heard from so many people that they felt the same. A total loss of the holiday vibe and enthusiasm. Many wanted to just sit this one out. Me included. I of course did my motherly duty and created a magical day for my kids, but inside I felt a silent sadness and exhaustion. I just wanted to be done with it.

How sad.

Then my brother called me from California. It is his first Christmas away from home, and his first Christmas alone. As we lamented the fact that this holiday did not look or feel like the holidays of the past, I realized I was overlooking the fact that I have the luxury to feel disappointed by something like this.

My family and I are fortunate. We aren’t wealthy, we lost our mom 15 years ago, we are no strangers to struggle emotionally, physically, financially and psychologically. We struggle as all humans do regardless of their status or station.  But what we DO have is an incredible bond that lasts ALL year long.

I don’t just talk to my dad or my siblings on major holidays, I don’t just hug and laugh with my in laws on Thanksgiving. It is an everyday occurrence in our family that we connect, that we enjoy each other and have adventures and laughter together. Our meetings and greetings are not punctuated by seasonal milestones and hallmark holidays, we have togetherness all the time because we choose it.

As my brother and I chatted more, I shared this with him, that our reality is special and blessed. That for us, any day could be Christmas. And while he may have been alone today, and while I may not have had the spirit today, it didn’t matter. What matters is we have chosen to be a family of blood and of design as often as possible, and we have festivity and generosity on a consistent basis. And that we are fortunate to never actually be alone.  

Today when I spoke to my brother I started the call a bit sad about my feelings about the day, but as we spoke my attitude changed and I instead felt enormous thanks and gratitude. I am blessed beyond measure that I have a home base, I have my people. I have my relationships that I take care of and treasure.

The holidays can be hard for many, many reasons. But I am making a new commitment and a new tradition today. Christmas will never be stressful for me again, it will never be a holiday where I panic about the amount of gifts I am giving or the number of people in my house. Instead, it will be a day of gratitude for the people I have in my life every single day. Christmas is a great day, but so are the other 364 days of the year when each and every one of us has the opportunity to make someone feel loved, special and appreciated. If your Christmas didn’t go down as planned, don’t sweat it. Instead, remember the blessings around you, and make everyday a little bit of Christmas.

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