Silent Night brought me to tears today. Why? This is the first Christmas that I will spend alone. There is no special someone in my life. My children will be with their father. Frankly, I’m dreading the quiet. I’m far from unique in this situation. This is the reality of many singles, and widows, whether they are parents or not.
Aside from my cat, there will be no one waking up beside me, smiling, excited to share in holiday traditions Wednesday morning. (And the cat won’t be smiling, she’ll be trying to annoy me awake to go feed her, just like every other day.)
I’m trying to reframe my current anxiety around the morning of the 25th, and even run a silver lining around it, like a ribbon and a bow. So far, I’ve figured out that it will be the first year that I can sleep in on Christmas morning. (Note: I have dated too many morning people.) Another bonus is that I won’t be cooking a big turkey dinner, starting first thing in the morning after presents are opened.
Ugh… Presents. This will be the first time that no presents will be opened on Dec. 25. The silver ribbon for this situation? I had one less person to buy for this year. (But then again, I’ve never found gift giving for the ones I love a chore.) I will also have less wrapping to do and then to recycle, as there will be fewer presents under the tree, none for another who isn’t here (and none from them to me).
Don’t get me wrong, I count my blessings, but no matter how grateful I am, sometimes the loneliness lurks a little too close by, like an unshakable shadow. Hanging one too many stockings out of force of habit and then realizing what I’d done this year, shook me.
I love love, and I love cherishing someone who also cherishes me. I just wish that all of the love that I’m unable to give would stop leaking out of my eyes and rolling down my cheeks. Now that it is winter, those frozen tears are harder to wipe away to avoid detection.
I know I’m blessed, in so many ways. When my daughter asked me what I wanted for Christmas, all I could think of was a pen that writes smoothly. I really don’t need anything (…nothing that can be bought). Sure, there are things I’d like to have, to make me feel pretty or to make my life easier, but a silky, perfect flow pen that glides as I write a grocery or to do list would be pretty great. If that’s all I want, I truly am blessed. (Waterproof mascara might be another excellent addition to my Christmas list.)
I’m not being a Grinch about this, I just feel like I’m in slow motion and can’t catch up to the changes in my life. It’s OK that this year I won’t be Decking the Halls, as it’ll just be O Tannenbaum and me. With any luck, this won’t become a habit and next year I’ll be back singing Joy to the World, regardless of my marital status.
I hope that the holidays are kind to you (and yours – if applicable). Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.