Snow capped hills and single digit temps allow my introvert self to enjoy the acceptable inside weather without judgement. Though the food may run out, at least I have my festive dark chocolate stash hidden away from my husband’s hands: there’s no stopping me from my sugary indulgents. I sit at my favorite writing space, complete with a tabletop Christmas tree and lights. Even my laptop background is holiday themed. I always loved Christmas. Every sparkling decoration and multicolored light. I find my joy outshining every chronic symptom I endure.
These past four months have been the hardest in a very long time. Yes, COVID-19 ruined nearly two years of everybody’s life, but my work dream team breaking up, my husband needing surgery, my body falling apart, and losing my mother-in-law, more suddenly than any of us could accept, has made these last months painful. I am doing better with this grief than I have in the past. Maybe it’s my age now compared to when I lost my Grandmother over eleven years ago, but I am okay today. I have enough to keep me busy and daily existential crises to keep me company. Oh, yeah, and my husband, he keeps me company, too.
By now I have watched about ten Christmas romance movies on Netflix and Hallmark. Each one is just as cheesy as the last – and I love it. If only it were all that simple, living up to those kinds of expectations. When we try, it’s a disaster in the making. How many times have we all compared our romances or partners to the characters in these films? Just about every time, I’m thinking, “He should have muscles like that,” or, “Why isn’t he that romantic?” We set ourselves up for disappointment and put high expectations on our spouses. But are they really that high?
I often have to have my Christmas list nailed down in order for my husband to figure out what to get me. He has an anxiety attack every year. Does he need to? No. He doesn’t. He only has to know who I am and what I like after ten years of being with me. That can’t be too hard. Somehow, it always is. I wonder if I am putting him against the standards of Hallmark gentlemen. It’s not like I am the queen of romance to him. I usually lock myself away on my computer trying to craft my dreams to life in fantasy or watching other’s dreams showcased on a screen. What are we expecting of others and what do we give?
I am surely not someone who wears make-up and dresses up in brand new clothes every day of the five days until Christmas like the ladies in those movies. I certainly can be just as gross as my husband, especially after living with a man this long. No, I am not perfect and I am not a healthy weight. Media makes a mess of us on a daily basis, and it exponentially increases during the holidays.
This year, I want the color of my Christmas to be red: passionate and loving. Loving myself, my husband, and all my family and friends, regardless of my inner judgements. I am blessed to have a warm house, a working car, a job to provide me money to buy what I need or want, and family and friends who love me. Not everyone has what I have and they could be dreaming about attaining what I’m taking for granted. So, Netflix and Hallmark aren’t real, I will still enjoy the holiday romance genre snuggled under my soft red checkered blanket, drinking my gingerbread coffee, and eating dark chocolate mints. Life blesses us with all kinds of peaks and valleys; we have to make the most of it. So, what color are you going to make your Christmas this year?
Kayla Rome (The Joyful Writer)
Hang in there…
I have no concept of Christmases being colors. I’m so overwhelmed with my day job and life’s responsibilities that I usually don’t get to think about Christmas much until around the 23rd.
I certainly am! Yes, I have struggled with holidays recently, but my health has improved and I am trying to enjoy every moment. I completely understand the work thing. It’s been very stressful. Hopefully, your load will lighten!
It won’t. December is never going to be a light load for me, at least not until I retire, which will be sometime around 2040 if nothing else goes horribly wrong. But I don’t have anyone to decorate for, so I just throw up a plastic tree in 15 minutes and that’s good enough for me.
Oh, that’s a bummer! I have always decorated, no matter how single or how broke. I have had some kind of plastic tree around, since college. I even used to make decorations out of paper, just to have something. Giving myself those small joys has gotten me through so much. Now that I have gotten myself “back into the spirit,” I have probably overdone it with all the mint chocolate candies. Haha. I should have spent fifteen minutes making a conscious decision not to buy so much chocolate.