I know people talk about cancelling Christmas, but this year, I actually did it. No lights, no presents, no cards, and no Christmas dinner. I’m not doing this alone, most of my family is joining me on this Christmas boycott. Are we protesting against commercialism, religion, stress? No we are not.
I lost my Mom the evening of December 23rd, 2010. On Christmas morning, I had to look at the presents she had sent us from England. I imagined her buying them, carefully wrapping them, and walking to the post office to send to us. I could see and hear her every step of the way. There were the presents, but where was she? It was the most gut-wrenching painful thing I have ever gone through, and I’ve been through plenty.
Not so many years ago, my cousins lost their father the week before Christmas, and now they’ve also lost a beloved Aunt. My one cousin wrote that he could cry when he hears the carols. How many times do they have to say “merry”, and “happy” anyway. It is too much for any of us to bear, so we have decided not to. Instead, I gave money to my favourite charities; Sick Kids, Community Living, and Toronto Rehab. The time I would have spent shopping, I spent with Becky.
We have spent Christmas in hospital a couple of times, but that didn’t dampen my Christmas spirit. I still loved putting up the Christmas Tree, watching “It’s A Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve, and roasting a duck on Christmas Day, but this year is different. I can’t even think about cooking a fancy meal; what’s it for anyway? Maybe we’ll just have a frozen dinner, a mug of cocoa, go for a walk, play a game, who knows, but we will be together, and that is big. I almost lost Becky three times, but I didn’t, so I will spend as many moments with her this Christmas as I can, because I can.
There are films, books, and magazine articles about the ‘true meaning of Christmas’. I think the true meaning is whatever feels right in your heart, and this year, this feels right to me.