Monday, December 15, 2014

All I Want for Christmas ...

Well, it’s that time of year again. The last two holiday seasons haven’t been very ‘joyous’ to me because I’m having this internal struggle with what form I want to ‘celebrate’ the holidays. I suppose my struggle all along has been me fighting against tradition and expectation more than anything. I find myself once again pushing back on this huge, sometimes seemingly insurmountable, block of tradition trying to dictate to me what I should do and how I should feel. It reminds me of a Norman Rockwell painting. I always felt out of place because I lived in a world that was nothing like his paintings, yet I wanted that world more than anything. I eventually created that world for me and my family – and enjoyed it for nearly 20 years, but felt like a fraud the whole time.

Everyone has their own experiences and interpretation. For some it’s in keeping the religious observance. But even for those who march to the crusade to keep “Christ” in Christmas against a PC world trying to destroy other people’s faith in their own bitterness, they too fight that same curse of tradition - like everyone else. What I find ‘funny’ (not really funny) is that Christ often rebelled against man’s traditions, explaining to them they lose the heart of their sacrifice in order to keep the observance, thereby invalidating their efforts. In the end, he was crucified because of tradition. It all goes back to Cain’s offering – it wasn’t the offering, but the heart in which the offering was given.

Don’t even get me started on the commercialism of the holiday. It’s really gotten to the ridiculous stage. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a giver. It’s in my nature to give. It’s something I desire to do for those I love, and even the occasional stranger. That will never stop. It’s just who I am. However, I detest being told to give, or being expected to give to people who don’t give a shit about me the other 364 days of the year because I happen to be related, in the same community group, belong to the same church, or work with them. It defeats the whole heart of the giving in the first place. But, with the sales that go on – it’s the best time to buy for those we love. The whole process has become so … hell, I can’t even think of a good enough word to describe it. It sucks the life and joy out of the act… and the pressure it puts on people - abysmal. I have a feeling the commercialism destroys more relationships than it ever helps.

The holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s) were the most fun when my kids were younger. Doing things to see their eyes light up on their faces, watching their joy and excitement as they dress up, pig out, and with sleepy eyes open their presents, and watch the fireworks explode in the night were the best times. It wasn’t about the stuff, or the tradition, it was about the connection.

All I want for Christmas this year is connections. This has been a tough couple of years – lots of changes, lots of adjustments, lots of fear. Walking away from all my security and everything ‘normal’ I’ve known, facing uncertainty every day, and then standing face to face with death - kind of changes a girl’s perspective. I want those simple beautiful moments that make this life worth living – a phone call from a friend to talk to me when I’m having trouble sleeping, a link to a song that touches my heart and reminds me of beautiful things, just hanging out while wrapped in pair of friendly arms so I don’t feel so alone, a friend showing up to spend the day with me killing aliens and talking about nothing important, a silly text from one of my kids, a Skype session with my bestie talking bullshit, or getting annihilated in a game of Words with Friends. These are the things I crave most. I don’t want the world or anything in it. I just want to love my friends and family, and be loved in return.

Someone recently told me they were sorry for not being able to give me what I wanted, to love me like I wanted, yet they never asked me what I wanted. They just assumed my expectations and made the decisions concerning our relationship for me. I had no say. I had no choice. I think they would have been surprised by my answer, but now they’ll never know. It turns out, it wasn’t the relationship they didn’t want that was lost – but the one they already had. It was something precious and beautiful, though I doubt they’ve noticed it’s gone. It’s not their fault – I’m simply unlovable. If I could give them a gift – it would be happiness. But I know I’m not the one who can give it to them.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds. I have no more faith to wish for a tomorrow. All I can see is today. Yesterday means nothing, it’s gone, it can’t be changed, it can’t be re-lived, nor can it be revived. Today is all I have. Today I want love… nothing more, nothing less. If there is no tomorrow for me, know I loved today the best I could.

For those who believe - Christ gave his life for us because he loved us. I know that includes me, but knowing something and knowing something is two different things – and I know nothing.

Till next time,

~Clueless at Christmas

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