Friday, December 16
Mid-Life Christmas Ponderings
He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.
~Roy L. Smith
Well, this Christmas is going to be the start of new traditions, new dreams and new everything for me. All of my decorating is done, shopping was easy. Christmas cards were sent weeks ago, and now I am left to reflect on Christmases past.
You see, prior to my divorce, I was the Queen of Christmas. I hosted an annual open house on Christmas Eve complete with Santa, gifts for all the kiddies, a smorgasbord of scrumptious food, plenty of drinks, two Christmas trees, and then after all of the guests would leave in the wee hours, I’d prepare for the Christmas brunch that I served on Christmas morning. I loved every minute of it and hold so many memories dear, but, now that I am divorced, I literally had to make many changes. For one, the cottage that I am renting was built in 1925 and does not have enough room for clothes, let alone the twenty four years’ worth of decorations that I had accumulated.
Secondly, many of the collections that I had amassed were tied to "him." I felt as if my whole life had been forever changed without my consent. I did not want to bring anything to my new place unless I really loved it. That meant, ornaments, bins and boxes of Christmas decor were set aside, and I scheduled three separate pick-ups from the lovely people at GoodWill. As I watched everything being loaded up onto the truck each time, I was saddened. Mostly because I realized that it was just "stuff" and it was no longer needed. In the end, it was truly cathartic I was starting with a clean slate, like it or not, and I learned that I do not need "stuff" to make me happy.
Last year was my first official Christmas-After-Divorce and I bought a pre-lit tree and some vintage ornaments that I picked up at a Thrift shop. Some candles and the collection of things that I had brought with me completed the scene and the cottage truly did look cozy and warm. Although I had made the effort to decorate, I found myself looking forward to putting it all away as soon as Christmas was over, and I did. The very next day. It was a painful reminder of what used-to-be. I knew it would be a big adjustment for me, but honestly, I found myself feeling like the fifth wheel at gatherings, and although I knew this was not the case, it was a feeling that I couldn't shake.
This year, as November was creeping up on me, I felt Scrooge-like and vowed that I would not decorate. Yep! No tree, nary a Poinsettia or a Santa would be brought out from storage. That is, until I received an email from my landlords who live in New Hampshire, telling me that they were coming for Christmas to stay with family in town and they couldn't wait to see me - shit! So, little by little, I began the process of sprucing up the place and today I am completely satisfied.
I decided to make it a White Christmas. The tree is decorated all in white and so is my dining room. My sun porch I kept to a traditional red and green theme, complete with fresh pine boughs that I salvaged from a local tree lot and, yes, a real Poinsettia. Believe it or not, I always had a brown thumb and was known for killing cacti and Philodendron, but, the Poinsettia that I had from last year survived the whole year, and is beautiful! I guess there is hope for this former Queen of Christmas yet. And, like last year's Poinsettia, I will survive and thrive, too.
Who knows what the future holds for me. I would like to start traveling for Christmas and make new memories as I go along.
Affirmation: I’ll take in all of the holiday fanfare with a flourish and be open to new experiences!