There are a few out there who are worried about me or others that they know and care about being alone at Christmas. For me, in many ways I have been alone for years now. Even longer before Mom had to go to the nursing home and things at least looked more normal around here, in a very real way I was alone.
I miss some of that family stuff that came with Christmas many, many years ago. I think what I miss is being a child and having that genuine excitement and wonder that should come with the season for children.
This is the first year that I am physically alone at Christmas and it’s a little weird, I guess. In some ways, it’s a little better. I’m not really doing anything different from last year or the year before, I just don’t have the added stress of trying to force Christmas to be Merry Dammit. I thought I was trying to force Christmas for Dad but perhaps I was doing it for me. Either way, it’s less stressful this way.
And I’m okay. I am making myself a nice, if simple, dinner. I already got my present to myself and I love it. I will relax, read, eat, and not worry about forcing anything.
I liked the way that Celia, over at The Kitchen Garden, described being alone and wanting to be alone at Christmas. For those of you out there who may want the same thing, it’s okay. We are not alone in this feeling.
You see, some of us might discover sadness in the oven with the ham, the flip side of gaiety be it forced, bottle shaped or otherwise shuffles about in the basket of fresh steaming rolls, the rising descant in melody under the melody of clinking crockery that comes from missing your own people on Christmas day muddles about in your salad. The ones who came before and left before too. You miss them. So do I. The little box in your mind where you have stashed your longing for the lost ones, or the far away ones, or the faded ones creaks and rocks its moorings, that bulging little box with the curved lid that you have to sit on to snap the latches closed heaves up into your throat. Days like Christmas Day tug at the locks and handles of the box. Fingers scratching with tips of wet green nails. There is a wobble in the hinges of my steadfastness, my determination – on Christmas day. It is easier to manage without the morphine of merriment.