I love Christmas, but it’s been a bittersweet holiday for years. When I was married, it turned into a driving fiasco. We would drive from Texas to Tulsa. From Tulsa to Mannford, to Norman, to Fort Cobb, to Anadarko. Then back to Texas. And if we wanted to alternate holidays, well, that was a guilt fest. We live in a society where people are living longer, and divorce is common. So exes, steps, and in-laws are overwhelming. Every year may be grandpa’s last year, but getting to all the grandpas can be a bit much. In my family, guilt hovers over family events. “You’re coming, aren’t you? Why not? What is more important than time with your family? We won’t be here forever, you know.”
I applaud anyone who is trying to create new traditions.
Since my divorce, Christmas has been lonely. My sister is married. My parents have been married for 39 years. I am the lone person who doesn’t get some really amazing personal gift. But it’s not about the gift, it’s about the intimacy behind it. Some Christmases were lonely, even as I was dating someone. Why? Because I knew it wouldn’t last, or I had reached a level of discomfort in it. Sometimes, it’s easier being single.
This Christmas, the atmosphere is different. I am still single, and I’m so happy to be out of my last relationship. I have my niece to purchase and assemble gifts for. But more than that, I am more at peace with myself. I have been able to help some people that I know truly need it. The satisfaction that brings is as good as any gift I could ever get. I have had opportunities to be social. I am going to go to a Christmas eve service at church, which is something I’ve never participated in. I’m going to hang out with a friend on Christmas day.
Finally, my own traditions are being formed.
So, I hope everyone is able to find some time to rest, to reflect, and to be thankful for what this holiday is all about..