Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Traditions

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..



Jeff said...

You have made the Christmases of more than just the 5 or six we know about. You've helped to make my Christmas too.

I'm glad to know that this Christmas is better than in the past. I have been on the phone the last few days with people like you who feel alone. And Christmas alone sucks. So, it's so good to see you being proactive with some who would otherwise be alone or would rather be than in the position they find themselves.

Once again, you're my hero.

Kristi said...

I'm going to a movie on Christmas day. If you know someone who wants to get out and do something, let me know!

Phyllis Renée said...

Merry Christmas, Kristi!

FHL_Always said...

bWhat movie are you going to go see? I think Marley and Me looks really good. If you need someplace to eat lunch tomorrow, come on over to my house! See you tonight :)