The holidays can be tough after losing a loved one. It is especially hard to have Christmas cheer everywhere when you are mourning the loss of your mother. The holidays remind me of all the special times I shared with her. This time of year could bring me down but I choose to celebrate her with the traditions and joy she passed along to me. I choose cheer over Grinch everytime.
Holiday decor was everywhere in our home. My mother was the one that brought the holiday cheer, and made it a lasting impression in my heart. It has been 13 Christmas’ without her loving smile but those fond memories of my childhood have lived on through me.
I feel it is my duty to keep that festive heart alive, even though I could have easily hated the holidays after her passing. She did such an amazing job on making it so special for her kids; I feel at home every time I look at a Christmas tree. She somehow lives on in those precious holiday memories.
My favorite thing to do as a child during the holidays was sit under our Christmas tree. We had lights that would twinkle to the tune of Christmas jingles, and I would stare at it for hours, awe stricken by the beauty of the colors, feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Every so often, I’d glance towards our staircase and see our beautifully lit garland, wrapped ever so carefully around the rails. The lumen of the lights would guide us in the dark. As a family we would string popcorn, wrap presents, and decorate our beautiful (always fake) tree. With a household of four kids, we always tried to unwrap some presents without being caught! (If we did get caught, it was easy to blame it on another sibling.)
I loved how my mom wrote, “From: Santa” on the presents in her beautiful, yet very recognizable handwriting. We never truly believed in Santa’s magic, but she still tried her best to bring it to life. What she didn’t realize was that SHE was the magic. Her cheer, her hard work, her presence, was what made our holidays so bright.
I’ve never received a gift that could match the joy of hearing my mother’s laughter.
The holidays are truly about family. About the ones we love and cherish most in this world. It’s not about presents, parties, and stress. I thank you mom, for showing me the true meaning of the holidays. Of always filling these months with great spirit and wonderful core memories. I only hope to continue that love and light to my family.
So, I beg you all to hug those you love close, and to enjoy their presence over presents. You may never know if you are celebrating your last pumpkin spice season with them. Try your best to forget the holiday rush, simply sit across from one another, and smile at how truly blessed you are, blessed to have one another, and to have one more year filled with Christmas magic.