Christmas was different this year. First of all, wearing a tank top on Christmas day and swatting bugs the moment I step outside does not put me in the Christmas spirit. Almost everything about it was different. Besides the unseasonable heat, this is the first Christmas without my son. In June I put him on a plane for Colorado to let him know his father, whom he had not seen since 2002. (You can do the math and infer the rest.) For the last many Christmas Eves, he and I went out to eat: sushi, Outback....various places. It was a tradition that has now died--perhaps with no chance of resurrection.
Fast forward to Christmas day. The last few years we had gone to my parents' house, bringing the repeat Thanksgiving feast that I had toiled to prepare Christmas morning. I mean, I have had turkey and the trimmings for *every* Thanksgiving and Christmas since I was a child. It was t-r-a-d-I-t-I-o-n. Traditions, by definition, are not supposed to change. However, last weekend my mother announced, in only the *way* she can, "I want no more turkey brought into this house!" That did it. Another tradition's coffin nailed shut. The one bright side is that her edict freed me from cooking. They came up with the idea for Beaufort Boil/Low country Boil/Frogmore Stew. I helped Dad a little in the kitchen, but he pretty much cooked it himself.
My brother and sister-in-law came this morning as they always do. I was shocked when they said they would stay for lunch, but I think that helped my feelings because it gave me someone else to talk to and made the day go quicker for me.
I normally love this season, but I am quickly approaching the time of year I hate the most: January and February. Those months have always brought on seasonal depression in me, or at least that is what I attribute my feelings to. The tears came today, but they were not as bad as I anticipated.
So, aside from seeing my brother and sister-in-law, the day was not a total loss. I was there when my son called my parents, so I was able to talk to him. I also focused on thinking about a few other people to take the focus off of myself and my feelings.
Christmas is but one day, so if you are reading this and have felt the doldrums today, remind yourself of that; it is but one day.