I remember a Christmas .....
It was the first Christmas I spent alone. It was just last year.
I wasn't dreading it at all. I've had a lot of Christmases with family and friends. Most of them were very happy, but a few of them were less than joyous. Some of them were so stressful because of the conflict that occurred, usually because my late husband did something, said something, started something, that they were worth forgetting. It wasn't fun when that happened. The others were really nice. I loved being with the kids and watching their excitement over their gifts, whether the gifts were from family or from Santa. And there were a lot of good times.
The last couple Christmases were good ones. The year after my hub died, I drove from Seattle to Melbourne FL, and spent Christmas with my daughter and her family. It was a good holiday. Being with the grandchildren did me a world of good. The distraction of children is a good thing during stressful times, I think. And being with my daughter and son-in-law was good for me, too. My daughter and I are very close, and it was therapeutic for me to be with her.
I went back to Kansas City after the holidays and spent several months getting my house ready to sell. Then I left in October and moved to New Mexico. I lived with my step-son for a few months while I found a house to buy, and during that time I celebrated Christmas in a most unusual way. I drove to Albuquerque where my ex and his wife live, and we were joined by our children and grandchildren. We had a grand time, the kids and I in motel rooms, spending lots of time as one big extended family. Allan even drove up for one day and enjoyed seeing his step-siblings, nieces and nephew. Then .... we all got snowed in! Instead of staying about 4-5 days in a motel, we spent 8 or 9! As the roads cleared and/or air schedules improved people gradually were able to return home, but my daughter's family could not leave for over a week after their scheduled flight, so we were able to drive to Capitan and see Allan for a couple days. A busy, busy Christmas time, for sure.
Then last year, I went to Kansas, Florida, and several other stops in the late fall, but returned home before Christmas because I wanted to be in my own home. Lots of people worried about me being alone, but I really wanted to be here, and it wasn't a problem with loneliness for me. On Christmas day my boss and his father came over for dinner, but that was about the extent of the company. And throughout the holidays, I was quite happy. I don't remember being "blue" at all. It was almost a milestone for me to make it through the holiday on my own.
Being alone at Christmas isn't bad. I'll agree, it is more fun to be with people you love, but it is not bad if you don't let it be. I enjoyed the quiet, the opportunity to reflect on Christmases from the past. As I decorated the tree, I spent as much time as I wanted reminiscing as I unpacked and hung the ornaments. I played Christmas music all day long if I wished or changed to jazz or blues or country or oldies as the mood hit me. I cuddled up with the ones who had been with me through it all, Ali and China, and it was simply a restful and beautiful period of my life.
Making it through a major holiday alone was a good thing. It more or less convinced me that I could do anything I chose to, with others or on my own. That was one of the best Christmas gifts ever. I'm looking at my second one, and I'm fine with it. Another good gift!