Well, that was a weird holiday.
I'm happy I spent time, money, and energy preparing for it over the last couple of months. I enjoyed my decorations this year, got my grocery shopping done, and cooked at a leisurely pace for three days to make snacks, desserts, and the holiday meal. I wrapped a couple of presents and stuffed stockings for us. We listened to Xmas soul music all day and I felt warm, loved, safe, and content all day long. And full! Very, very full. :)
But the weirdness of the day is worth noting.
I woke up sad. Very sad. I wasn't anticipating it, but I immediately recognized it. And I allowed it. I didn't know what else to do. So, I felt it. It was Xmas morning and my kids weren't here. I didn't wrap presents or stuff stockings for them. I wouldn't make them breakfast. It's not that they weren't little kids anymore; they simply were never here. I don't have any memories of any Xmas mornings with them. And that's sad. So I honored that (while also honestly hoping the feeling didn't linger all day).
I lied in bed and thought about everyone around the world spending the end of the year differently than how they are used to doing. I thought about families separated for the holidays, with people staying home to be safe. I thought about parents spending their first Xmas morning without their children. I thought about how they are alone like me on Xmas day. But they're not really. They have their kids. They're just separated this year. But I still feel bad for everyone in the world for how this pandemic and our atrocious reaction to it worldwide has altered everyone's way of life in less than a year.
And I thought about all the people that have died. (No, it was not the most cheerful Xmas morning I've had.) So many people have died. Why are our flags not flying at half-mast? Our nation should be in mourning. So many people are spending their first holiday season without their loved ones.
These were all the thoughts I woke up with on Xmas morning.
I thought them, I felt them, and I sat with them a bit.
Then I acknowledged them and tucked them away into a pocket of my mind.
I redirected my thoughts to be about what I wanted to cook for the day and when and how...
The other weird part of my day involved talking to my mom. It was just weird. It's normal to call your parents and visit on Xmas morning, right? To forget your current worries and stresses and just visit about the holidays?
I called my parents to wish them a Merry Xmas. They had a nice morning, just the two of them. They liked their presents from my sisters and me, and I shared with them what all I had made and was preparing to make for our meal. It was nice holiday chatter.
Then my mom got really adamant about me watching her church's children service online. She was telling me how she coordinated it all, how different kids did different parts and then the video editor put it all together. I told her that it sounded wonderful and that I know she did a great job. But she kind of would not let it go. She kept telling me I had to watch it. I know my awesome counselor from years ago would have told me to just vaguely ignore it or something like that, but in the moment I responded. I said, "Thanks mom, but I'm not going to watch it. I don't enjoy things like that." And she took that as me not wanting to watch something church-related. I was just annoyed and tired and said it had nothing to do with church. I stopped there. My mom really does not get my childlessness at all. The last thing I want to do is watch a cute video of other people's children that I don't even know. Weird.
Don't worry. She changed the subject. She started talking about how sad it was that she and dad were alone on Xmas but how a lot of her friends were in the same situation. Then she starts listing her friends who are home without any of their children. Please allow me to repeat: my mother really does not get my childlessness at all.
My sister and niece are going to visit later this week. My other sister visited earlier in the fall. I haven't visited in the last 9 months because of the pandemic. I offered to drive five hours for a porch visit back in June before I moved further away, but they didn't want a visit unless it was going to be a "normal" visit. I didn't see them last year for Xmas because I was working two jobs, seven days a week. So I now haven't seen my parents in a year and a half. It's sad. After wrapping up our Xmas morning conversation my mom ended it by saying, "Well, see you someday!" And I replied, "Yes, looking forward to it! I love you. Merry Xmas!"
It was just weird.
But back to my food and decorations...
I did what I could to prepare for Xmas 2020. I managed what arose in the moments. Weirdness and pandemic aside (yes, that last one's a biggie), it was an enjoyable holiday. I really liked making all of the food and having the tree, lights, and ornaments up for the past month. I'll plan to do the same next year.
I'm glad I've reclaimed the parts of Xmas that I enjoy. 🎄