Ah – Christmas – yes I said CHRISTMAS – not “Holiday”. The song goes “it is the most wonderful time of the year? But is it? No, not for everyone. Last year at this time we were in the hospital – what a way to spend Christmas – with your child in the hospital! Sure, Santa came – and the family came, but it just wasn’t the same. This year we visited a friend whose child is in the hospital – they did their best to make it wonderful, but really, it is the hospital – no matter how many decorations you put up, it just plain stinks!
This year of course was our first without Alexander. It would have only been his 3rd Christmas. How is it possible that he only had ONE good Christmas in his life?
As I mentioned in my last post, I have followed some other families in the same horrible journey we are in. I thought of them a lot – their children died such a short time ago – not that it is any easier that Alexander has been gone for 9 months (Yes, 9 months already!) but, still – it is so new, so hard – still in that numb stage.
Then there are the “regular” people in the world – those that aren’t living in the cancer world. I was getting pretty frustrated with them this year. Going on about the stupid “elf on the shelf” – how to get their kids to behave – how to wrap all the presents! Cookies, shopping, parties to go to! Looking back, I honestly don’t remember getting so stressed over Christmas – maybe because I didn’t have kids, I don’t know. But it seems to me, if it is THAT stressful, then something needs to change! In our house, Santa NEVER wrapped presents (well, one year he did because I asked for it – but that was it!) I have a friend that says Santa only brings 3 gifts because that is what the Baby Jesus got – sounds like a good idea to me. A woman I worked with had so much “holiday baking” to do, that she started back in October, and she kept things frozen until it was time for them. Does anyone really need that many sweets?
Several years ago, and article on CNN talked about how “tough” it was for one family at Christmas – after all, last year they “Spent $600 on their 3 year old”! They claimed it included many clothes. Umm…..most three year olds I know are pretty much happy with ANYTHING they get, and clothes – it is called a SALES RACK (my mom got Alexander a winter Jacket last year – $60 – I think she paid $10 after the sale and coupon”
So often in our society, people get confused over WANTS vs NEED. That is what is often what is leading people in to such big debt (a topic I will cover in another blog)
So – how can we go back to making this a truly WONDERFUL time of the year?
1. Stop Stressing so much!! Do only what you CAN – don’t go over board, and don’t worry if it isn’t all “perfect”
2. Do something to GIVE BACK – Giving is great anytime of year, but Christmas there always seems to be a bigger need. Buy a toy or two for the Toys for Tots, drop those coins in the red kettle, find a family to adopt. It doesn’t have to be big. Last year, my little cousin who I think is 10, got her friend and her brother together and they made enough Christmas cards so that every kid in the hospital would get one! Such a simple thing, but so very meaningful!
3. Sometimes LESS can be MORE!
4. You CAN say NO!
I hope you all have a very safe and Happy New Year!