Christmas is not my favorite

Christmas time is one of the happiest time of the year for many people. However for me it seems to get harder each year. Not having my mother there for the first Christmas after her passing was more like a novelty. It was like an experiment –would Christmas still happen without her? Would Christmas still keep its magic about it? 4 kids, and a single dad more or less survived that first holiday as best we could do. Dad bought us all way too expensive gifts that I never used, because I had never been given anything that valuable in my life, and I struggled with feeling worthy of using the gift I had received.

Now Christmas comes and nearly 16 years later we celebrate with new extended family. I mentioned earlier that it seems to get harder every year. And I really don’t understand why, and yet somehow it feels true. At first it was almost like mom couldn’t really be gone, but perhaps she had just forgotten the holiday or perhaps she was on vacation, and would join us again the following year. But as each year passes the child inside my heart cries a bit harder as the reality sinks in that she isn’t coming back. Yet still there seems to some hope against hope in my heart that maybe next year it will be better, only to find the next Christmas more devastating because not only is she not there, but it is further away from where she was.

I don’t write this for pity or for desired topic in conversation next time you see me, but rather I write this to bring awareness. Awareness that sometimes the happiest time of the year can also be the most painful for some. Please extend grace, and hold your loved ones closer this Christmas. For the greatest gift we have been given is our time, so don’t let it the all the lights and wrapping distract you from those treasured moments.