I am that girl. Yes, the one who hounds her husband the minute the turkey is carved to go get that tree and put it up! I want the ornaments out, the lights up, and the carols blaring through my house as my boys change the words to … well, less festive, more smelly ones. I love Christmas. I love the carols, the tree, the ornaments, the lights, the baking, the smells…. Oh man, I could go on and on.
But not this year. This year, it’s like the Grinch (a.k.a. the US Army) stole my Christmas.
I’ve felt like skipping the season. It’s not to neglect the birth of Christ, oh, never that. But without Jason here, it all feels a little hollow. The radiant joy I usually feel is missing. If you go by my house, you won’t see a single Christmas light up: no decorations, no tree in the window. I just didn’t have it in me.
It’s not flattering, and slightly child-like, but man, I’m kind of cranky. Christmas decorations were out in the stores before Jason even left in October, and all I could think was that they were stabbing me with their cheeriness, just reminding me what I would be missing. The moment the season was upon us, I just wanted to lock the door ignore it. Every tv ad with smiling families opening gifts made me want to hurl the remote through the flat screen. Screw you and your happiness. Now, now, I already said it was childish. I get to throw my temper tantrums too.
The most embarrassing part has got to be the crying. I’m not a crier. Okay, maybe when I’m really angry, I start to leak, but that’s it. But man, if Rascal Flatts belts out “I’ll be home for Christmas,” one more time, I’m going to have to reapply the mascara. Again. Every time that song comes on, I find myself choked up to the point of changing the song, station, cd, you name it. This is nothing compared to my utter breakdown while I wrapped Jason’s presents and packed them up in a box to be shipped. It just seems so unfair to me that I have our children, and their joy to warm my heart, but he’s unpacking boxes 1/2 way around the world, just hoping to skype to see his babies’ faces. Yes, the Grinch is running amok.
So where is my Cindy-Lou hiding? You know, that precious girl who watches her Christmas stolen out from underneath her, and still sings? I came to Colorado for Christmas. I flew across the country with my four boys in search of her, hoping she was hiding here among the comfort and joy that my family brings to me. I came home to my parents’ house, which is lit up like a Griswold fantasy, with presents literally oozing past the boundaries of the Christmas tree and half-way filling the room. Each decoration I see, each smile that spreads across my children’s’ faces is like another Who in Who-ville joining a hand, breaking into song. Just being here, with my family, my friends, my mountains brings my spirit eeking out a little more. I know Cindy-Lou is here, just waiting for me to join hands and sing.
I’m jumping into Christmas with both feet now. My preoccupation with missing Jason may dampen my spirits, but I have these four little Who’s who manage to bring it back every time they sneak a peek at the presents or declare that “Batman smells, & Robin laid an egg.” Jason’s stocking is hung on my parents’ mantel right next to mine; just a little reminder that he’s missed, but he’s not missing. The Grinch took a huge part of my Christmas, but my boys deserve all of the joy of the season. And tomorrow, when we’re baking gingerbread houses, you’d better bet there will be Christmas Carols lifting this house. And I’ll be singing like Cindy-Lou.