Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

We're in the Holiday season and frankly I'm a bit blue because of it. Since I don't anticipate a lot of posting in the coming weeks other than my Picture Of The Day posts, I thought I'd go into a bit of explanation for those who might wonder why I may seem a bit distant and why I'm not online a lot these days.

Christmas Eve 2000

Growing up we were in the lower middle class bracket. We lived on the second worse street of a pretty affluent town. While we did not want for for simple good food or clothes, though I often wore hand-me-downs, there were not a lot of luxuries because money was always tight. My Dad took a second full time job around the holidays, I found out years later, just so my parents could afford Christmas presents for my brother and I. Christmas as kid, then growing up before and after having my own kids, it was always something special, magical, and just the best of times.

Danielle, Scott, and Chris on Christmas Morning 2000

We started our own tradition with the kids for Christmas. Christmas Eve the three of them would get new pajamas and a Christmas book which we would read a story out of after they we in there new Jammie's before they went to bed.

Starting in 2000 for four years each Christmas I would make and give away on the internet a Christmas Screen Saver for the PC. These took months to create in my spare time. I watched Christmas specials in the middle of July off of video tape and in later years DVDs. I just really loved Christmas.

In fact I truly loved the Holiday season starting with Halloween and stretching through New Years. Since the divorce, it's just not been the same. I don't have the creative spark to do the Screen Savers. Thinking about doing it seems like such a massive effort and before it was effortless. The first holiday season was a real struggle to get through but that year and subsequent years I did my best to try and make the kids holidays happy and I found joy in their happiness. It really refined in me the spirit of giving, and I truly believe it is better to give than to receive. So, most years I've hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for the kids, the X, and her parents, I give money to charities around the holidays as well which brings the holiday to others. This does make me feel good for those I am helping.

For me though this year, now that the kids are older and have less child-like joy with it, and even my daughter is distancing herself from us, there's not that much magic to be had as I really loved their love of it. Sometimes I think nowadays for them it's an occasion to get some gifts and not much else. January can't come soon enough.

Yes, I know, I'm like Charlie Brown; the only person who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. Wow, A Charlie Brown Christmas! I love that cartoon! I used to watch that special every year with my brother since it first aired until we moved to Michigan. I watch it every year though.

Anyway, thanks for listening.


David Louis Harter said...


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. This is truly an excellent post.

- David

Bev from PA said...

Christmas not same for me either. Each death or child grown or separation of people leaves scars and lack of enjoyment.

We wait for the years of another generation twinkling their eyes to the lights and magic of the holiday.

When that arrives it is a bit easier to heal the wounds and enjoy once again the holidays of fall.

Take care Chris.

Chris said...

David - Thank you my friend! This is a rough time of the year for me considering how much I used to adore the season.

Chris said...

Bev - Sorry to hear you have similar feelings around Christmas. I so hope that at least one of my kids has children down the road so I can see their joy of the holiday.