The holidays are just around the corner as much as I hate to admit it. Over the last few years the holidays especially Christmas has lost some of the magic for me. I still enjoy the excitement through my son but the shopping, crowds, push and pull between family members of who is spending what days and how much time where is really wearing on me. I’m not one who wants much and have begun to feel like I really don’t want anything and yet I don’t want to sound ungrateful. Last year our daughter passed away on Dec 1st and so the holiday season as a whole was very well….sad for us. On Christmas my grandma asked me if I’d gotten everything I’d wanted. I looked down at the generous pile of gifts I’d received and while lovely and given with love the answer was no. I was longing for something that no one could give me that couldn’t be wrapped under the tree.
As I start to see the commercial wares come out in the stores I’m filled with dread for the holiday season. A feeling I don’ t like. I want to change the way I feel this holiday season and here is my plan.
1. I’m going to document our season by completing another December Daily album inspired by Ali Edwards- http://aliedwards.com/projects/december-daily
2. I’m not going to shop. Yep you heard me right. I’m not going to purchase gifts for those I love. I’m going to give the gift of time and love. I will give tickets to concerts, bake cookies with my family and give to those who do not have enough.
3. I’m going to do some fun holiday activities- I haven’t decided exactly what yet… but I’m thinking of The Lights of Christmas, going to the Nutcracker, going Caroling etc.
4.I’ll still put a treat in the stockings of my family members but this year it will be things that I can make and enjoy the process of creating. I will try and compile some of my gift ideas as I go. What I want in a gift idea is something fun to make, and it will get extra “points” if I can make it with my son. It needs to be useful- no nick knacks here. It needs to be something my family will love.
I know that I will still likely feel incredible sadness as the first rolls around. As I hang the babies first Christmas ornaments on the tree that were meant for our daughter or pull out her stocking that I lovingly made while I was pregnant. (what do you do with that? Hang it or not- nothing feels particularly right.) But I hope that by focusing on family, friends and experiences I can find more joy this holiday season and celebrate the blessings that are before me.