One year I threw the Christmas tree in the front yard.
I bet you think I’m kidding!
Nope… I was 23 years old, my mom had just died it was my first Christmas without my best friend, make it all better, warrior Mama.
I was DESTROYED.
Christmas was “our time”. We were the decorating committee of the house, we baked together, we created elaborate wrapping stations in the guest room and we shopped until we dropped!
It was because of her that I fell hopelessly in love with the Holidays.
So there I was, my first Christmas without her. I’m in a deep, grief driven depression, spending day after day listening to the “Out of Africa” soundtrack on repeat, never leaving the house.
My Dad decided that having a Christmas tree to decorate would “cheer me up”.
I watched in silence as he brought the tree in, propped it up angst the wall and headed into the back of the house.
Then something came over me. I picked up that 7ft Christmas tree, opened the front door and hurled it like a barbarian as hard as I could into the front yard.
It felt AMAZING!
Then I hopped on a plane, headed to Mexico to let my heart bleed in private.
Not only was I grieving her death I was grieving the death of the way things were, like Christmas… Forever!
The point of me sharing this story with you is because I KNOW the Holidays can suck sometimes.
Some of you reading this are divorced and are navigating the holidays alone. Maybe you are single AGAIN this year or it may be that, like me, you have lost loved ones and the holidays are an all to raw reminder that they are gone. For others the holidays have always been a time of high stress, family tension and pretending.
Listen, I know not all of us can chuck the tree in the yard and escape to sunny, warm Mexico. But there is something simple you CAN DO.
Here is my Holiday RX for you:
Wrap your arms around yourself and whisper,
“I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU.
Feel beyond the story. You know what I mean! There is a story that says “He has moved on is celebrating the holidays with someone else, I’m a big bag of poo…” Or the most popular story, “I know exactly how this holiday is going to go, my mothers going to be a hot mess, my dad is going to pretend shes not being a lunatic and I will be criticized for being single AGAIN.”
YES under that story is a big beautiful feeling just waiting to be experienced. Turn on Out of Africa and let the tears, anger, disappointment and jealousy rip!
FEELING is different then thinking.
Thinking = STUCK
Feeling = LIBERATION
Repeat Step #1.
My relationship with Christmas has healed over the years and still every holiday season I remember my mama and give myself the time and space to miss her mucho. I give myself permission to FEEL.
What I don’t do anymore is get lost in the “what if” story. That is a dead end an only leads to deep suffering.
This is me reaching out to you as your sister and friend. I am hugging you and not expecting you to get over it. Just loving you right where you are and offering a beautiful alternative to the broken record of the story.
I hope it helps.