It’s not as bad as I thought it would be.
The Lori from Before, she loved Christmas. I’ve never been a huge decorator, but I am a participator of the highest order- tree, tinsel, angels, carols, candy canes, charity drives, holiday parties, Christmas cooking. A little of everything.
I wasn’t sure how Lori in the After would deal with this constant, shiny reminder of what she’d lost.
I think it’s that separation that made it OK.
The first of December rolls around and this is it. This is a test, truly this time, and it feels like it… am I mother, or mouse? Do I let my own fear, the anticipation of that haunting ache… do I let that get in the way of my children having a Christmas, where they are both old enough to understand the magic of it?
No freaking way. I am mum. Hear me ho ho ho.
I bite the proverbial bullet on the very first day of December. The fear of something, the waiting… it’s always worse than the act itself.
I buy a small fibre optic tree, replacing the one I binned when I moved from the Purple House. When I say small, I mean it- it’s shorter than me. Because I am determined this is how Christmas will be this year- small. Inconsequential. I will only do what I must, for the kids.
When we get it home, the power adapter for our tiny tree is smashed to bits. And on returning it to the store, they only have mammoth, taller-than-Lori trees left.
I feel like poking my tongue out at the universe in general, my late husband in particular. Point taken. Christmas will be bigger than I am, whether I like that fact, or not.
And I find, as I put our tree, turn on our lights, deck our halls… I do like it. Still. Christmas hasn’t been ruined… at this point, with my children so excited, my little house looking so festive, Christmas is still beautiful. Christmas is still a bit magic.
This…. this is magic. The look on my son’s face when he watches a video online where Santa knows his name and where he lives, that’s magic. My daughter wiggling her tiny, cloth nappied bum to Bing Crosby singing Silver Bills… that’s magic. My house, quiet and tucked in, dark save for a lamp and that twinkling Christmas tree… that’s a bit magic too. It makes me ache for Tony, and there is little magic there…. but just knowing there can still be such pretty things, such hope as Christmas, I can find enchantment in that.
I finish decorating our lounge room, and there is tinsel left over. Just one more, I think… one strand of tinsel, wrapped outside on our front stoop.
One becomes two, becomes three, becomes five. And I realise I’m enjoying myself… this doesn’t hurt, not like I thought it would.
So far, so good.
Merry Christmas and a very happy holidays and festive season, jellybeans.