My Hard Candy Christmas

I knew this Christmas — the first Christmas ever without my Mom — would be a rough one, I just didn’t know how rough.

Mom (Christmas 2009)

It’s one of those things you have to experience for yourself to understand.

Back at the end of November and into early December, things were looking quite bleak. Really. I tried not to think about Christmas, but reminders were everywhere.

I was really very depressed. Then I read something on my girlfriend Granny Trace’s blog that got me thinking.

She said… “I could choose to hold onto these yucky, bad and heavy feelings. Like I am wrapped up tight in yarn. BUT….NO!” Then Tracey went on to remind her followers that thankfulness is a choice. And said she always chooses JOY.

Tracey is not one of those weird, perennial Miss Mary Sunshine types. She’s got ups and downs like the rest of us. Some pretty big ones, too. So I decided if Tracey can be joyful, I could also make a conscious effort to choose some joy.

It was truly an effort, too. Because all of those memories kept flooding in, threatening to pull me back down into that black pit of depression.

Once I decided to choose joy, I figured I’d REALLY decorate the house for Christmas. I may have gone a tad overboard, but I like it. Actually, the house needs more. Next year I’ll have to decorate the rear yard, too.

That’s also when I started planning my Santa ride, which was inspired by my delightful blog friend, Rachael, aka Fuzzy Galore (this world could really use more women like Rachael).

I started taking pictures of all the lovely store windows in town. Perhaps this evening I’ll do another circuit with no dogs and my “real” camera (though the iPhone does darn well).

Listening to Christmas music helped, too. Not many folks know how much I like to sing (I usually just sing when alone).

Then there was planning the girls’ weekend. I can’t forget my besties.

That weekend was followed by a weekend with family. And it took a lot to get ready for that, too. Like Christmas arrived four days early.

Amy, TJ, and the kids were here. So were Eric and Kelsey. We missed Shannon, but I had to force myself not to think about that either.

I swear, I have never had to work so hard to enjoy Christmas!

Pass the Pigs!


Playmobil Rocks


Lego's are awesome, too. It's even more awesome that the boys like it when I play, too.


It all felt a bit forced, but it worked! Quite a few people remarked how “in the spirit” I seemed. 🙂

And today, which was slated to be a very quiet Christmas Eve, I got a really, really nice surprise…

It snowed!!!

We didn’t get a lot of snow, but lots of big, fat, white flakes fell and made walking around town delightful.

And, just to make things even cooler today, I got this unexpected gift from the aforementioned Fuzzy Rachael, which Hubby just brought inside from the mailbox.

How cool is that!?!

Anyway… enough about me. I hope you and your family enjoy Christmas this year. Even if things are not as perfect as they could be, choose Joy.  And, as Dolly says, “Don’t let sorrow bring you way down.”

Merry Christmas!

8 Replies to “My Hard Candy Christmas”

  1. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas Kathy.

    It is hard to be stoic and enjoy things when you’ve had so much grief but time marches on. Hopefully it will be easier for you next year.

    My wish for you in 2013 is for continued health and of course happiness in whatever form it takes.

  2. Merry Christmas. I’ve been more a lurker than a commenter, but I’ve been a faithful reader for sometime. Happiness doesn’t always come easy. I’ve appreciated your quest to nurture it. It certainly appears you’ve manage to give happiness lots of opportunities to happen. It’s been my experience you can’t make happiness happen, but you can open the door for it to arrive on its own. I wish you many open doors in the upcoming year.

  3. Merry Christmas, pal. You have my sympathy. I’ve gone through this. The year after my mom died, Christmas was a torturous ordeal. It’s impossible not to grieve over their absence which is unbearably conspicuous. It sounds, from your post, that you suffered but survived, which is the most we can hope for. My heart reaches out to you and I wish I could ease your pain. Hang in there.

  4. Kathy…
    It was the same at our house this year. My BRW’s mom had passed away and this was the first Christmas without her presence. It’s been tough.
    But like you, R has fought to put the unhappy thoughts aside and focus on the happy ones. As a result, there was a lot of “Remember when Grandma……” type of conversation in the house, which, to me made it all the more wondrous.

    Let’s all focus on the good of being and look forward to a great year. If we can get Brandy, etal to grab onto Bobscoot as he travels here, and then include Beamer Girl, Tom of Scooter by the Sea fame, and you – we can have ourselves a convoy! And one heck-of-a-good time.
    To 2013!
    Ciao. Mike.

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