So, it’s finally that time of year again, December. A great time to realize your humanity and generosity towards your fellow man. But what is it about this time of year that seasonally depresses a decent chunk of our society? Is it that their chestnuts were burned over an open fire rather than toasted? Is it that Santa dropped the ball and didn’t get them the Super sparkly pretty, pretty rainbow princess to go with the prince? Or is it something much deeper than that. You see to most of us Christmas time is a season we remember and enjoy because of the happy and great memories that we found or created as a kid, but for some people it can be a horrible reminder of something sad or tragic that occurred that they never could get over.
I mean hell, my family never put up any decorations or the tree until after December 17th, sure we’d beg or plead to put them up, but my parents would never budge. Then I was gently reminded that the date December 17th was the day my dad had had his accident. Oh. It took a lot of years for my parents to even consider budging with the whole “tree” thing, sure we’d try to be sneaky, we’d offer to get the artificial tree set up, they wouldn’t have to lift a finger! But sadly they’d shake their head, threaten to take it down if we put it up, and we’d give up until the next year. Flash forward to just a year or so ago. It is Black Friday and I am stuck at work, just wanting to get home and sleep is my main goal. When I finally run out the door and hit my car it takes all my energy to stay awake. About 15 minutes later I throw my car in the driveway, slam myself out of it, and push myself through the door. Inside is the weirdest sight I have ever seen. There’s my sister putting the tree together, my dad untangling the lights from the year before, and my mom in a bright cheery voice saying “Hi! welcome home honey!” I did a double take at my watch thinking I had just stepped through the Twilight Zone and asked them what day it was and how long I’d been gone. My sister looked at me oddly and told me “I dunno, whatever time you left this morning until now?” It was the strangest thing “But I thought we wouldn’t put the tree up until after the 17th?” my mom kinda had this look of ‘oh’ and my dad chimed in with the coolest thing “Well I wanted it up now, so how do you like that?” So as tired as I was, as purely exhausted as one could feel, I threw myself into helping put that tree together and helping deck it out as lovely as we could. And I came to realize something, maybe people can heal after all. That whole “Bah Humbug” spiel can be thrown away, but it takes a long time to do it.
So for all of you kids out there that have a “no tree or decorations before (this) date” keep the faith, it may take a while, but the path to healing is a long and difficult one, so yes the holiday may be marked up with grief, but you know what? You can learn to heal that pain and turn it into something bright again. And even though the tree is late going up this year (we have a puppy this time around ><) it doesn’t mean that it won’t go up at all. Turn towards the light and joy of the holiday and let it fill your heart and make it light, trust me you’ll be glad you did.