Let me get this out of the way: this post is not directed at any one person. You might feel like it is, because I have had this conversation with many of you. I have even had this conversation with some people in the last 24 hours, but I promise you this post is not about you. It is a response to the years of conversations about “Why Nicole Should Like Christmas” I realize that this blog post is a departure from many of my previous posts, it may not be as uplifting, but it has been in me for awhile and needs to launch out into the world.
This is just one person’s perspective. Just mine. However, I have a hunch that it may resonate with at least one other person’s experience as well. My desire is to say hey I understand the Holidays are hard for SO many people. So here we go.
The Grinch Who Stole my Christmas is Grief.
I was a kid once, I loved Christmas. Who would not love getting a Green Machine, or a Little People Tree house? It is great! The idea and magic of Santa is great!!! I even loved Christmas when I was a teenager because toys turned to clothes, and looking at Christmas Lights with your boyfriend in his car was magical, getting that first gift from him that you know he agonized over, again magical. So let me assure you I have experienced the Magic of Christmas, I have drank the Kool-aid, I get it. But life happens and no matter how hard we try, things are never the same.
Loss, Grief, forced participation, fake celebration, and financial repercussions, these are what I see now when I think of Christmas. I would also like to point out that I am not whining or complaining, I am good. My life is amazing, don’t cry for me North Pole. I just feel the need to explain and to ask for grace, for myself and others.
The world does not care that it is the Holiday Season, Life does not work that way. It certainly did not work that way in my life. People still die, tragedies still happen, sickness comes, the Holiday’s shine a light on already failing marriages and relationships. So often these tragic, painful, gut wrenching experiences happen to us, yes even in December.
This is heavy. This is a lot to throw at you. I just don’t think that people really realize the depth of why I would rather skip December each year. Grief is the Grinch that stole Christmas. I have tried to get it back I promise you. Grief does not go away, it just changes. I know there are many of you who have had worse things happen to you, in fact I know a few of you that have suffered losses I cannot imagine. I invite you to grieve, and to resist being shamed into celebrating this time of year if you do not want to. I honor your grief and your experience and I will never tell you to “buck up and have some apple cider” it does not work that way.
So let me wrap this up…did you see what I did there? Wrap it up? Like a present? Never-mind, it is OK if my pun is lost on you after all of this sadness. Let me bring it all down to my experience.
- I think Christmas music is pretty, but it often makes me sad because of those I have lost.
- Christmas services feel forced to me and unsatisfying and no longer hold the same promise they once did.
- I have never been a fan of forced celebrations and to be badgered for two months out of the year about Celebrating the Holidays, is torture. Whatever happened to being thankful daily? Whatever happened to giving a gift just because not because you have to? Whatever happened to peace good will on earth for EVERYONE not just you and yours, and for the whole year?
- The amount of privilege that gets thrown around this time of year is off putting to me. The arguments about keeping Christ in Christmas, and how it is NOT HAPPY HOLIDAYS it is right to say Merry Christmas. As someone who has lived around people of all faiths and backgrounds I find the privilege to be rude, overbearing and downright unfair. What can I say? I am the kid that asks these hard questions and points out that Emperor has no clothes on.
- But what I wish most of all is this. That when I say I do not celebrate Christmas, or I am not a fan of it, etc etc etc. What I wish most is that people would say, OK and move along. I wish that they would not try and convince me of its merits. That they would not point out their family’s traditions in some attempt to make me feel better, or as a reason I should like it. That is your family, your experience and Bless you that you have that. Stop trying to make me buy into your experience. Why is it not OK for me to have a different experience than you? This is my deepest wish. Let us create tolerance for people to have lives and opinions that do not look like our own, and to feel secure that it does not mean that you and your experience are being judged. I wish this for all situations not just for the Holidays.
Don’t feel sorry for me, I have an amazing life. I have an amazing husband and a career that is so exciting to me. I have even found a way to enjoy the parts of Christmas that I like such as the lights. I love the lights they are beautiful.
The lesson in this for me is that I have learned to love everyday, I give gifts when I feel led to, I am thankful daily, I enjoy some food and wine I like when I want to not because of a date on a calendar. I believe in love peace and goodwill towards men and women daily and all year. I celebrate how and when I feel the spirit to do so. And I am always looking for ways to love December. We will get there, or maybe we won’t. Either way it is OK.
If by any chance you still want to respond with “But Nicole what about…egg nog or reindeer…how can you not like the reindeer”? I encourage you to re-read the post.