Bahumbug and a plague on all your houses!
That’s how I felt about Christmas for almost ten years. The celebrated holiday brought back memories of war time, not joy, peace and love. At the time I believed I was the only person who hates Christmas.
Two years in a row I served overseas for Christmas. Before that I manned a 24 hour desk over Christmas.
But there’s more.
On that third Christmas any illusion of hope and peace were shattered as we landed in Kandahar. We were quickly shuttled to an in-brief by our new commander. An active duty Army Colonel who embodied all things “warrior.” Our team was late due to weather delays and they were ready for us to relieve our counterparts; therefore, “Christmas doesn’t exist in wartime” became our reality.
If you haven’t heard about my time overseas, it’s pretty easy to sum up.
Heart wrenching situations, working alongside incredible humans in a seemingly impossible situation, loss of identity, difficult time coming back to the states.
My first Christmas back in the states, and years after, involved me going through the motions. I could only thing about the men and women who would never celebrate this holiday again. The families with empty chairs because of the ultimate sacrifice made.
Joy? Hope? Peace?
Not on your life.
I had a lot of negative thoughts about the holiday season and when I started to have kids knew something had to change.
I can’t say it happened that first year. Or even the second one. Slowly, over time, my heart was woken up to the mystery of Christmas again.
With the start of my 8th Christmas as a mom, I have great anticipation for the season to come!
Six years ago I accidentally started a tradition of slowly welcoming in the holidays. Our second child was due December 7th and my in laws would be visiting to celebrate her and the holidays. There was no way I would be decorating for the holidays the last week or two of my pregnancy with an 18 month running around. So, I broke with American tradition and put my tree up Veterans Day weekend.
Why then? It was the closest 3 day weekend my husband had off before the holidays started. That year I had time to enjoy the twinkling lights, move decorations around, and absorb the magic of the holiday.
Today, as I put up our tree I remember the magic and a big dream ahs come true.
There is a piano next to the tree and it will be played as we sing Christmas songs. I’ve dreamt of this moment since I was a teenager and since I am not skilled with the piano I never knew how it would come true.
Over time, little by little (thank you @cultivatewhatmatters), one of my *childhood* dreams has come true.
2012 – I became a mom
2013 – I braved the scorn of Americans by decorating in November
2015 – On a whim I bought my husband a fancy keyboard for our anniversary
2016 to 2018 – Kept moving furniture around in our long playroom
2018 – There is a tree next to our piano and a place to sit and sing along
2019 – We will spend our first Christmas just the five of us
Oh my soul.
If you have a dream, claim it. Do not let go of it. Maybe it’s something small like a keyboard next to a tree. Or it’s something bigger, like traveling to a new destination or trying something new.
Today I want to encourage you, go..go after that dream. Don’t give up. Take one step towards that dream today.
And if you’re on board and love it but don’t know where to start, I love me cultivatewhatmatters, laracasey’s folks. I’m learning a new way of goal setting with them and it has helped me grab onto some bite size steps I otherwise would have flown past.