Posted by partlycloudy on December 7, 2004, at 6:04:05
In reply to Blame it on Christmas, posted by Toph on December 6, 2004, at 22:07:18
Christmas was a pivotal holiday for me, too. There were years when my dad just didn't come home, off on a drunk for a couple of days. There was one year when I was a teenager when, during the family tradition of reading bible passages on Christmas eve, I refused to do so, saying it was all a lie.
The worst was the Christmas when my mom moved out, leaving dad - oh, and me, too - at home in a house emptied of furniture and any joy the season might have held. My siblings had already fledged as quickly as they could, back to university, girlfriends, skiing trips. I got to watch dad cry into his rum and coke for breakfast.
So, now: I own more Christmas music CDs than anyone else I know (22 at last count). I am married to a man raised in the Jewish faith. He takes great care and happiness in selecting gifts for his 3 grown children. I decorate my tree. This year I am sending cards again (didn't bother last year). I do feel like I am dragging myself through this season, going through the motions. I can't remember the last time I was "home" for Christmas; at least 15 years now.
Listening to Christmas music makes me cry with the hopes and sentiments of the songs. I love to sing Handel's "Messiah", even though it's Easter music. I sing alto although I've pinch-hitted the tenor parts.
I celebrate Christmas because of the love and hope the holiday still represents to me. I do negotiate carefully through the abundance of booze associated with it, and that is getting easier. I like my Christmas tears now, where I never used to.
This year I'll be attending my sister's holiday party (she lives on the west coast) for the first time. She's been holding the party every Christmas for 9 years. Every year she invites me. Every year I don't go - no vacation time left, no money for a flight, no interest. I'll still be on sick leave from work, and I'm going to my sister's house for part of my cure. To rejoin the rest of the world in celebration. I don't want to expect too much from this trip; my sister and I get along very well with an entire continent between us. But she has steadfastly supported me this past difficult year, and I hope my present to her will be my smiling face without a twitch in my eye or a wringing of my hands.