The holiday season is upon us. This time of year I get very sentimental. I don’t think I’m alone. Holiday songs like Christmas Shoes, which wrecks me every time so much so that one time it was on while I was driving and I had to pull over because I was sobbing so hard, are meant to make us feel all the feels.
I am not ashamed to admit that my youngest child comforted me during a replay of Frosty the Snowman because I cried. They said, “Mom, it’s okay. Frosty will come back again another day.” That set me off into another round of hysterics. It was really sweet of them. My family will not allow me to watch Nestor, the Long-Eared Donkey anymore. When Nestor’s mom dies because she shielded him from a winter storm (Spoiler Alert), I just lose it. I cannot even.
Basically, I could cite many more examples of how the holidays get to me. Usually during this time of the year, I am very happy and excited. I am looking forward to the festivities. We host a holiday open house on the 23rd or the 24th and do a modified version of the Feast of the Seven Fishes because I grew up in a big Italian and Portuguese family. (No baccalao, sorry, y’all. I cannot do such salty fish. Sorry, dad.)
Unfortunately, I set myself up with high expectations and the day after Christmas I go into a deep depression. Like I said, I feel all the feels. The highs and the lows. I am also bipolar so that kind of bleeds into it. However, when my children were little, we watched all the holiday movies and specials that we could. We looked forward to FreeForm’s 25 Days of Christmas. Elf still cracks me up especially the part where Buddy jumps off the couch and puts the topper on tree and on Christmas Day we still have to watch Ralphie and company and all their antics in A Christmas Story.
My children both love the moment in the Grinch when he and Max, his trusty dog, are careening down the mountain and come to a place where the mountain sends them up and around. At that point, Max waves at the mean old Grinch. They both giggle and when we had the VCR tape – my children are 20 and 25 respectively, they would ask me to replay that part over and over again. Their squeals of delight would always make me laugh.
Christmas through a child’s eyes is more special and beautiful. I miss those days of old when my husband and I watched the kids get excited for Santa. We still, to this day, keep the Norad Santa tracker on all day Christmas Eve. My youngest would always hunt down Santa and when he got close, they’d go to bed as would their brother. I’m grateful that he, despite being five years older than they were, helped us keep the spirit of Santa alive for his sibling.
I am nostalgic for those days gone by, but I know that some of our Christmas traditions will never go away. Someday, hopefully, I’ll have grandchildren and again be able to experience Christmas through their eyes. It’s more beautiful that way.
With the world being where it is and all the negativity going on, I am really excited to be in holiday mode. However, I feel an impending dread that I will crash hard and go into the ‘black’ as I refer to my bipolar depressive episodes. I expect the world to hold onto the concepts of peace, love and goodwill to all men (and women and children) all throughout the year; or, at least, I did up until COVID hit. I realize that the world is different now. I am different now. I think we all are.
Christmas has become more special to me since the pandemic began because we still get to celebrate the season. I celebrate everything – Christmas, Hanukkah, The Solstice and even a day dedicated to honoring Kwanzaa. I believe that every tradition is important. I also feel that each has its own special qualities and enjoy every minute of these celebrations.
I try to squeeze as much joy and solace as I can during this time of year. We need more comfort and love in the world. I just want to extend these warm and fuzzy feelings to other parts of the year. Unfortunately, that is too much to ask so while I will still tear up at Dolly Parton’s Hard Candy Christmas – if you haven’t listened to it, give it a whirl – and many other things. I will keep my tissues close by. However, this year I am setting my expectations accordingly in the hopes that the New Year will not send me careening into a depression. If it does, I will deal with it as I always do and get through it somehow.
Happy Holidays to all y’all. Thank you for reading. If you find that you struggle throughout the holidays, I would love to help. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-484-7634 to set up your 60-minute complimentary session. It’s free. GIve the gift of mental and physical wellness to yourself this holiday season. Ask me about my special holiday six-pack. I’ll be happy to hook you up.