I love Christmas. I have always loved Christmas and I have my parents to thank for that. They instilled the magic of Christmas in me at an early age. They started traditions in my childhood that I have carried into adulthood. I couldn’t wait to play Santa Claus to my children so I could instill the same in them.
Last year I hated Christmas. I had no spirit. None. I was 9 months pregnant, due the day after Boxing Day, and couldn’t wait for it to be over (both Christmas and being pregnant). If it weren’t for Aiden, I doubt we would have even put up a tree. It didn’t feel like Christmas because my mind and spirit were elsewhere. I was concentrating on my baby and his much anticipated exit from my little ol’ body. Christmas took a backseat to Camryn.
Luckily, I wasn’t in the hospital for the holidays. Camryn was born Dec 16th. I got home on the 19th, so I had a few days to get settled before Jolly Ol’ St. Nick came down my chimney. But instead of getting settled, I got thrown into a whole new world that was so unfamiliar to me that I didn’t know if I wanted to be there. I wasn’t prepared for the emotions I had. I wasn’t in the mood to spread holiday cheer.
I remember enjoying Christmas Eve (which is great because it happens to be my favorite day of the year). But Christmas morning was horrible. Aside from the first few minutes when I was pulled into the excitement of it all because of Aiden and his enthusiasm, the day was not a good one. A trip to the ER with an 8 day old baby, bickering with my husband while Aiden tore open his gifts, crying uncontrollably in my bathroom, and sitting in my son’s dark, empty nursery crying on the phone with my sister and then trying to cover it up with a smile. Not a Christmas I was used to. Not one I want to experience again.
I felt guilty for feeling the way I did because here I was, having just been given the best, most precious gift for Christmas. A baby! Camryn was finally here! It made no sense. My heart knew that. But my mind never. I was an emotional wreck, trying to adjust to my ‘new’ life.
As the days went by, things got easier and I started adjusting. My hormones levelled off and I cried less. Life with two seemed a bit less scary. Looking back, I realize I was just experiencing what most mother’s experience after giving birth. But I think what made it worse was the pressure of Christmas. The expectation to be happy and joyous. Feeling this way made me realize that this time of year (for whatever reason) isn’t always the most wonderful time of year for everyone.
Fast forward one year later, and my Christmas spirit is back. I am counting down the days until Christmas Eve, humming Christmas carols and dancing around my living room with both my boys. I am feeling the joy of the season and am spreading it in any way I can. No pressure. No tears. I am excited this year as 4 stockings are hung on my fireplace. I am looking forward to Christmas morning (as early as I am sure it will be) and the excitement and chaos it will bring. No sitting in dark rooms and no feeling like I am living in an unfamiliar world.
Last Christmas, I gave you my heart. This line will forever remind me of my lifelong Christmas gift. Camryn. Happy 1st birthday little man. I love you beyond measure.
Oh, and Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings etc) to you all. It shouldn’t matter what the greeting is, it’s the fact that you are saying it. Spread the cheer. But no pressure 😉
Hugs & Smiles,