I come from a broken family, by broken, I mean my parents have been divorced for over 18 years. To me, that's 18 years of no family tradition of Christmas. The tradition has been Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas Day with another. This caused the first sign of anxiety for me knowing that since my brother and I would be with one parent, the other one would be all alone. Now fast forward the sudden death of my brother, just imagine what emotions I go through during the holidays without my partner-in-crime --> the brother who knew exactly what it was like to go from one household to another. The year that he passsed away, I knew I couldn't be in the city so my husband and I jetted off to Cuba (we had booked in September because I knew then that I couldn't handle Christmas without him). In 2009, we ran away again, this time to Punta Cana. And this year, I am trying to brave it since my husband has not had the chance to spend Christmas with his family because I need to be away. I hate taking him away from his family and I am so thankful that he sacrifices his traditions to make it easier for me to get through a painful time.
He knew something was wrong with me back in Christmas 2007 when I broke down and cried all the way to his parent's house after leaving Christmas Eve with my dad and brother. My mom was with her BF in California, my dad was going to his GF's house and I knew that my brother would be going home to an empty house. We asked him to join us but he wasn't up for it. I was so upset and I felt horrible knowing that my brother would be alone. I continued crying in the washroom once we walked into my in-law's house. The family knew I was upset and I think it's not uncommon for them to see me cry during every single holiday. I am grateful they are so understanding and so loving. Anyway, I finally walked out of the washroom because my niece (who was two at the time) and my MIL came to get me and greet me with a big hug. When I reached the dinner table, I was greet with more hugs. It was since that time, my husband knew that we would be having issues every Christmas.
There is so much more I could talk about, like why my mom stopped spending Christmas in Toronto, why my brother and I always devise a plan for a quick getaway but I don't want to get into it. Those are other demons in my closet I will deal with later. This post is not about me hating Christmas (although we do have a black Christmas tree), it's more about why it's a difficult time for me but also why I love it. Now that I have shared with you why I always feel like running away during the holidays, here is why there may be hope for me to love it once again. As my husband would say to me, "You love the idea of Christmas but I hate the reality of YOUR Christmas".
WHY I ♥ CHRISTMAS
And it's things that like this that make me ♥ Christmas:
photo credit (weheartit.com via here)
photo credit (weheartit.com)
My hubby is taking baby steps with me. First by playing Christmas music constantly, then by overloading me with Christmas movies (since I still love Xmas movies) and now by getting the kids to help us decorate the tree. This was a lot of fun. The kids should come over every year and help us! Now as I finish up writing the last of the Christmas cards and finish up the shopping, I hope some Christmas spirit takes over me. I do look forward to spending Christmas with my in-laws. It should be a fun time with the kids and hopefully this year, I won't be crying in the washroom. If you want to read my hubby's take on us and Christmas, read it here. I tried to read it last night but it made me cry so I tried again this morning and no tears!
B & B helping Uncle Mick decorate our tree