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Holiday Season

on November 28, 2014

So the holiday season is upon us.  Yes, I said HOLIDAY season. So sorry if that “offends” anyone!   Yesterday was Thanksgiving, soon it will be Hanukkah , the Christmas, then the New Year. So yes, it is a HOLIDAY season.  I have seen a lot of things online, how we should ONLY say Merry Christmas, and not Happy Holidays.  I don’t get that – because, well, not everyone celebrates Christmas!  I saw someone else say, that it is the ADVENT season, and we shouldn’t say Christmas, because the “Christmas” season, doesn’t actually start until December 25th..

Wikipedia has this to say:
Christmas or Christmas Day (Old English: Crīstesmæsse, meaning “Christ‘s Mass“) is an annual religious and cultural holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ,[6][7] celebrated generally on December 25[8][4][9] by billions of people around the world.[10][2][11] A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide, which ends after the twelfth night.[12] Christmas is a civil holiday in many of the world’s nations,[13][14][15] is celebrated culturally by an increasing number of non-Christians,[1][16][17] and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.

Call it whatever you want, I really don’t care, just be happy and kind to one another!   I have seen a lot of people say “Put the CHRIST back in Christmas”. Well, if that is how YOU celebrate then yes.  And be sure to do something CHRIST like this season!  There are so many people in need, kids in the hospital, the homeless, those that need just an extra hand.  Do SOMETHING for them, and stop complaining about how people don’t SAY the right thing!!!  have your ACTIONS show what Christmas really means to you.

I use to Love Christmas time.  I loved all the movies on TV, the gift buying, the decorating.   But when Alexander was diagnosed with STUPID cancer, I didn’t care much  about it, and even less so since he died.  He spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in the hospital in 2010. He was VERY sick on Thanksgiving and we were alone (some day I will get over being bitter about that one!)  We made Christmas as nice as we could, but really, it was in the hospital so how nice can that be!?  He was little enough to not notice, but of course we did.  After he died, I REALLY didn’t care any more!  I am starting to get a bit of the Joy back now that we have Julia and Elizabeth.  Julia has some books about Christmas that she likes to read (and we have been reading since September!) and she has a Curious George Special that she likes to watch (over and over and over again!) When we were putting up Gold decorations in September for Childhood Cancer Awareness month, she kept saying “Christmas time!”.  It is fun now with her, and I am sure next year Elizabeth will be into the season too.

It is still hard though to be truly happy.  A lot of my Angel Parent friends say the same thing.  Life is never the same after you lose a child.  You go thru the motions for your family, but really you just want to curl up in a ball and cry, because you will never have a perfect holiday again. Sending out Christmas cards becomes a conundrum for a bereaved parent. You want to some how include your child that has died, yet, figuring out the best way is very hard.  Some people hold a picture of their child that has died, some leave that child out all together.  Last year, I added a butterfly with Alexander’s name on it that was written in the sand.  Another time, I included a family photo that we had taken in front of a picture of him at a Road Race we took part in.

As you go about the next few weeks of the HOLIDAY season, remember, you never know what someone else is going thru.  This could be a hard time for them for many reasons. Loss of a loved one, sickness, or any number of things.  Be kind to those around you.

alexander (2)

8 responses to “Holiday Season

  1. I appreciate that you say that! I know I should just not care, but the people who are all CHRISTMAS SAY CHRISTMAS ANYONE WHO DOESN’T SAY CHRISTMAS IS WRONG AND I’M TAKING A STAND YEAH, they just irritate me to no end!!!!! And that thing going around that says “If you are Christian, wish me Merry Christmas, if you are Jewish, wish me Happy Chanukah” etc etc – that’s supposed to be like the opposite of the ONLY SAY CHRISTMAS people, but that annoys me too because they have it backwards!!!! I mean, yes, it’s nice to say that you will accept all good wishes as good wishes… but the real ideal to strive for would be to tailor your greeting to the person to whom you are speaking!!!! Should I go around wishing Christians a Happy Chanukah???? No! That makes no sense!!!!! aarghghghghhghg!

    Ok. Thanks for hosting my rant. I get worried about even going off like that on Facebook because i don’t want to deal with fighting.

    Anyway. I definitely feel you on the struggle with the holidays. I try to think of ways to include Caleb somehow. I try to make a occasion-specific Caleb photo thing to put on the table. At my mom’s tonight we toasted Caleb like we do at home on Shabbat. I’m hoping to figure something out so that people can make a donation as his Chanukah present. And… well this makes me glad that I never got the hang of sending out cards so I don’t have to figure out how to include him in those!

    • thecookiegal says:

      Feel free to rant away!!!! I have decided I don’t care anymore what people think…..might not be the best Attitude I know.
      I like to give back to the hospital that Alexander was treated at for Christmas time. Perhaps you could find something like that for people to do for Chanukah.

  2. Mary DeWinkeleer says:

    This is beautifully said, Nancy.

  3. Liz says:

    I 99.99% agree! It makes complete sense to say Happy Holidays in most contexts. I have never taken offense to anyone using this phrase because they don’t know if I’m Christian, Jewish, atheist, etc… The only time I roll my eyes at the use of the word ‘holiday’ is when it’s used for such things as ‘holiday tree’ or ‘holiday stocking’ and other traditions that are not connected to any other holiday except Christmas. But really, in the end, who cares? Holiday means ‘holy day’ so perhaps it’s perfect!

  4. Liz says:

    I forgot to say that I can only imagine how tough the holidays can be after losing a child. I believe that those who complain about the wording of a holiday greeting probably don’t have much else to dwell on. I remember watching tv in the hospital when we were told Arielle was going to die, and I was disgusted by the commercials and the everyday complaints of the average person. So much is put in perspective when the unthinkable happens. God bless you, and may you enjoy the holiday season with your girls.

    • Nancy says:

      Yes, I remember once reading a post after Alexander had died (or maybe it was the year before?!) that someone was “worried” about getting all the Santa presents wrapped in time!! Really?!? My Baby died, and that is your biggest worry?!? I suggested ahw write a note from Santa that he was “going green” and cutting back on wrapping paper

  5. sdebassio says:

    Nancy, thank you for the reminder that actions are what counts not what we call things. I am so sad for you that you will never have the same joy you used to have. love, sue

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