Love is overwhelming. It is both what tethers me and what causes me to ascend. I feel lost. I have too many places I call home. Where my loved ones are is home. I was raised there, I have memories there, the number of people who care for me there is astounding. I have a home here, one I have created with the man I love. And even still, I have a home beside him, for I’ll be wherever he is.

I wish these places could coincide. I dream of spending Christmas morning with my love, and my parents and siblings. I feel the opportunity to do so is quickly slipping away. With my sister expecting, I can only guess to how traditions will change. The arrival of the first grandchild will mean new schedules and possibly, no more breakfast celebration. My father’s health is still questionable, so I don’t know how many more years he has. As I’ve learned in the last year, with the loss of two close family members, you never know how long you’ll have.

D can never travel at the holidays, due to work restrictions. The cost of tickets is another concern, the main reason I’m not traveling this year. I think a Christmas with my family would be a bit much for him, also. He is still adjusting to my family. The loudness, the affection, the teasing, the noise. I saw that on our trip this fall, how he feels scattered by us all, not knowing his place in the bunch.

I would send back all my presents, and not ask for anything else, if I could just have this one thing.

Maybe next year.

We’re simply having a miserable Christmas-time

It seems every year now, I whine about my sad holidays. I suppose at some point, I should shut up and learn to live with it, quietly. The Christmas away from family has been the norm now for the last few years. 2009 was the last year I got to spend with my family and it was not the same when I did.

This year, I really tried. Right after Thanksgiving, we put up the tree and decorated it; we even put lights outside for the first time. Since that weekend though, the enthusiasm has dwindled. Maybe it’s the cold, seeping into our bones. Perhaps it could be the job situation wearing on my soul. D and I have been in homebody mode all December. It’s a quiet year without parties or fanfare. We have no plans at all for Christmas eve or the day itself. Instead, I’m cleaning and making presents and trying not to think about my sick father, my lack of permanent employment or my childlessness.

I think of those less fortunate when I start to feel sorry for myself, but then I just find my heart being pulled under the surface of depression. I’d like to hope that the Christmas spirit finds me, but in reality, I am not betting on it. D is really down, and I’m not far above him. It’s funny, in that bittersweet way, how last year, without decoration or baking or a tree, I was sad, but I figured it had to do with both of us being sick. This year, I think maybe I’m just not a Christmas person anymore.

I used to wait all year for this holiday. The singing, the treat baking, the shopping, the family time, the parties, the love. Maybe it’s not my day anymore, maybe that’s OK. Perhaps that means someone else needs that feeling more than I do.