I recently became an author at The Writers Collection – and every Monday I’m going to blog about one theme along with nine other exceptional writers/authors. Please visit the site to read everybody’s post, as everybody’s take is different.
This week I’m tackling Christmas.
Next Monday, the theme will be Henry VIII.
Thank you for reading!!
That time of the year has come again. I know the excitement will finally take me over when I see the tree by Rockerfeller Center. Tourists swarm around the massive, gorgeously-lit pine, snapping one hundred shots of it, maybe they want to become one with it too, I think. Life as I know it taught me weird tales about Christmas.
As a child, I adored it. Of course, Santa was my best friend. He always dropped wonderful surprises on December 25, and I spent the day playing among others with my Legos, train tracks, toy cars and big girl bikes (without back wheels). The fantasy unfortunately died the day I realized Santa was my parents. What a horrible lie! The world opened below my feet and swallowed my innocence whole. Nothing could be fixed from that moment on. I had to mature and move on with my life.
As a teenager, Christmas became a shopping splurge. Not necessarily for me, but mostly for my parents and friends. I started saving the change my dad used to give me every week, and I used it to purchase big beautiful presents for everybody I loved. I sometimes, no often, went overboard. But I loved it. Christmas is supposed to be about giving and sharing. I didn’t care whether I received nothing in return. The sole idea of buying made me happy.
As a young adult, I spent Christmas with friends. I flew to the United States and for two winter weeks traveled across New York State, up to the Canadian border, and celebrated the holidays mostly with strangers, but it was a lot of fun. I fell in love with the countryside then, and cried my heart out when I had to go back to France. I knew I was meant to live there forever. At twenty-one years old, I knew I was meant to become an American.
I later met my husband and thanked God for hearing my prayers. I celebrated the following Christmases with him and his family. I visited South Carolina, got married there, and discovered the South of the United States. It was obviously something different, but I loved it all the same. I didn’t regret starting my life over again in a new country with new people and a new culture. On the contrary, it made me feel whole again. The first few years were truly wonderful, but as the relationship deteriorated, celebrating Christmas became more an obligation than a pleasure. I bought lots of gifts to hide from the pain I went through, and the more money I spent, the fuller I felt. Last Christmas, I however felt extremely empty. I didn’t have it in me to continue the journey like this anymore. I didn’t have the strength to play games. My love had died.
The separation happened shortly after New Year’s Eve. Ugly circumstances pushed me out of the household, forcing me to have an honest grip with reality. I faced my worst demons and fears, encountered a lot of obstacles, and wondered whether I made the right choice. I thought of the past and fantasized about the future. I started writing again, and I found new loving friends. I undertook a slow revolution that transported me further than I could ever have imagined.
And now here we are. It’s time to celebrate Christmas. I’ll light up the tree alone this year, surrounded by my relatives and closest friends. I’ll bake the turkey and prepare a feast according to the oldest French tradition. I’ll drink champagne in newly bought crystal glasses and eat off newly bought ceramic plates. God, fate, luck changed my life once more and I made it all the way through, stronger and happier than ever.
Christmas is all about love. Everywhere I can feel it. It overwhelms you and shows you a new side of things. The familiar scent of trees displayed on the street drives my senses wild, and I look forward to sitting at the table to share an unforgettable meal. I’ll never grow tired of it. I’ll never hate it. Despite hard times, I’ll always smile through the tears.
Merry Christmas everybody!