Around two years ago, I had secretly sworn off Christmas. I did not announce my plans. I tried my best at family functions and participating in rituals, such as putting up a Christmas tree, but it was at the very last minute. I did it all in vain. I became so turned off on how consumerist the Christmas season felt. I allowed myself to be influenced by others. I forgot the good of the season. However, this year things changed for me. My grandmother, the matriarch of my family, passed. Her death has impacted me and given me a new outlook about the Christmas season.
Christmas was one of my grandmother’s favorite holidays, and losing her right around this time has made me want to call off any celebratory affairs. If only I could lock my self away and let it all pass, so I thought. I schemed for a couple of weeks about how I could get out of celebrating Christmas. I thought of my grandmother and what she would have done and wanted. She was a woman who had been through so much, but always made and found a way for her family. I knew that for my son and I, she would want me to celebrate the holiday and be present in the moment, like she always did. She did not allow herself to be swayed, or influenced. My grandmother did what she wanted, but family was always first and the holiday time was important because it was a time when we all came together.
My fondest holiday memories are the sound of Christmas music coming from my grandmother’s radio in the kitchen while she cooked. The smell of holiday foods and desserts filled the house every day during the week leading up to Christmas. Visits from family and friends would become more frequent at this time. There was so much love around.
These Christmas memories are what I have decided to tap into and remember, so that I can enjoy the season, and most of all make Christmas memories with my son. I let go of negative thoughts and I choose to focus on love, and fellowship with family and friends. I find time to reflect on the year that will pass and the one to come.