After a few notably poor holidays growing up, I was thought personally forever spurned by the idea of Holiday celebrations.
I remember comforting a parent who had been financially taken advantage of by a love interest who turned out one long con. I heard the break in their voice as they described just how much was taken that year.
I still think that in ways, mourning the loss of what could have been is the most haunting piece of that time in my life. At the end of the day, I don’t think that the prize of a gift was anywhere near as important. However, feeling like the dream and opportunities of what the gifts symbolized was crushed. The potential of having a rebuilt family unit in that moment slipped away.
In hindsight, while I wouldn’t ask for that kind of pain for my parent, in a way I am thankful that the break didn’t extend further and with much longer lasting effects. We were able to remedy the demolished credit, the emptied bank accounts, and heartbreak of inviting someone who proved to be a wolf in sheep clothing and stranger into our lives.
So, to hear that not everyone has the greatest memories of holidays or family around that time is not lost on me. I fear that I have spent more holidays in solitude (even around others) and cold than I would like to readily admit.
As 2020 presented an opportunity to end the year in similar melancholic ways that I am well too familiar, I attempted something different. Maybe it was at the idea of my beautiful daughter being able to experience something warmer than the burdens that weigh heavily. My apartment was decorated for Christmas a few days before Thanksgiving.
And, I know that no matter how many stockings are to be filled, nor a tree decorated, nor gifts are delivered that the real lesson is that the time to spend together is what matters. Authentic and shared concentrated time.
In that respect, I feel more prepared for the Holidays this year than I have ever before. Not because of the style decisions I make, but by the mindset that I am waking up to.
The track this week is from Houston based group Khruangbin, playing “Christmas Time is Here” from a 2018 EP reissue of the same title. I have admittedly “fallen deep” for Khruangbin in 2020. Aside from being local to my hometown, the funky band’s update to the traditional Vince Guaraldi Trio song is a welcome sight. It too feels like a shift in mindset, welcomed as we ring in an odd year (which we will recap next week with a year-end top records list).
So, I hope that you find as much peace and joy together or alone as you require this holiday. May we have many merry and bright things on the horizon to look forward to.
Stay safe, seek grace, and let’s all take care of eachother.