| posted in: life 

I don’t even know where to start about Christmas this year. I’m tempted to just say, “bah, humbug.” However, that feels too much like giving up and I’m not ready to go there.

At my own choosing I’ve set this weekend up to be entirely on my own, doing only what I want. Thanksgiving was good, and I appreciated having other people around to shelter me from the stark reality of a formerly special holiday without Michele. Once I realized that I was going to be okay then I wanted time by myself to commune with my memories of Michele and our Thanksgivings together. I resolved to spend her birthday and Christmas doing only things I wanted to do, and, more importantly, free to do whatever I needed in the moment to be okay. Spending those days (the 24th and 25th) with my family would erect numerous barriers to my need for flexibility around these two events.

So my current thinking is that Saturday I’ll visit the grocery store for the things I need to make Arroyz con Pollo and chili, and the video store for a movie or three. I know that turkey is traditional, but that was our favorite meal and I just can’t bring myself to make it and then eat it alone. I’d like to bake a cake for her birthday, but I can’t eat an entire only solo - maybe I’ll take the left over into work Tuesday and let my co-workers polish it off for me.

Christmas Day I want to watch all the old Christmas movies we own ending with It’s a Wonderful Life, one of her favorites; mine too. I’ll have eggnog and cookies to snack on, and take a nap or three. I’m sure there’ll be a good cry in there someplace. During our relationship I worked hard over a number of years to put the sorrow of Amy’s death into a better perspective and that ultimately allowed me to start having joy and magic around Christmas again. I know that I am still grieving her death but I want to try and at least celebrate the memories I have of her to offset my sadness. I feel it is appropriate to express both now, and healthy to have some balance between them.

I wish for all of you a Merry Christmas, filled with love and appreciation for the real gifts in your life. The gifts of friendship, of companionship, of love. Don’t get so lost in the commercial trappings that you lose your connection with the joy, wonder, and magic of sharing yourself with others.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Mastodon.