As the final countdown to the holiday season concludes, I continue to put off buying one particular present. Every year, this holiday present is the last one on my list. I know that I could cross it off first. The holiday present never changes (the price might change though.) Still, just the thought of placing the order can make me put it off for another couple of days. I know that the last possible day that I can order this holiday present is December 22. In the end, I will always place the order. I just wish that I was purchasing something else every year. But, I never will; the holiday present will always remain the same. So, today I will purchase the floral bouquet for my parent’s headstone.
While I am a mom and a wife, I could also be labeled an orphan. My parents died before I was married, before I had my children. Without any siblings or other family, my parents were my only family. When they passed away, I was on my own. There is a hole in my life that can never be replaced.
Before people start saying that I am wallowing in depression, sadness or another adjective, I am not asking for your sympathy, condolences or other form of affirmation. I am writing this post to encourage people to be a little thoughtful this holiday season.
During the holidays many people go over the top, over-spend or overindulge. While I am not criticizing people’s choices, I would ask that everyone not assume that the holidays are the same for everyone. If someone doesn’t want to join in the neighborhood cookie exchange, don’t force them into going. If someone doesn’t want to listen to Christmas carols 24/7, let them change the channel. If someone doesn’t want to the fifth holiday party, let them stay home. Don’t force your wants onto someone else.
The holidays in my home can be difficult for me. While I want to share stories, memories and experiences from my youth with my kids, it can make me a little sad. From the special ornaments that my dad and I collected to a special food that we ate every year, I long to make those connections with my children. When the kids were younger, the stories and memories weren’t shared as often. The kids didn’t understand why telling a story would make me cry. But, as they have grown and they better understand, more memories are shared and I get less sad telling them. The hole in my life will never completely close, but it does get a little smaller.
As the holidays reach their triumphant close, I encourage everyone to take a moment in gratitude. Family, friends, health, life, or even the extra piece pie make our lives a little brighter and lighter. Now, time to call the florist and finish my holiday shopping.