It's that time of year again. Turkey, ham, stuffing, cookies, and pumpkin pie are just some of the good things about it. How appropriate that most of what we eat during the holidays is comfort food. It's probably a good thing that those who face it alone every year get some comfort out of something, even if it's a piece of meat on the table that puts you into a turkey coma after eating too much. Here's an interesting article about what holiday dinners can do to you! Click Here
I'm not posting today though to talk about the consequences of overeating too many goodies on the holidays. I'm here to talk about you and how you're going to handle the holidays again being single.
I used the picture above in 2007, which was my first post about being alone on the holidays. Thought I would recycle it today, since it says it all. I'm pretty good at preaching to the choir, but not too good at taking my own advice! Now you know. The holidays, however, have a particular way of putting the spotlight upon our lives accentuating the obvious - we have no romantic love in our lives to share these special times with us.
The holidays are pretty much a family-oriented occasion, where we gather together to give thanks, regather to give gifts, and gather again to bring in and wish each other good things for the coming year. My fondest memories of life revolve around the holidays. I remember Thanksgiving dinners with my parents and brother. I remember watching the J. L. Hudson day parade when Santa arrived in downtown Detroit. We all sat around the table together, and I still have that same dining room set my parents owned since 1950. I look at it and it's filled with memories of who sat in its seats, who ate off the special dishes still in the china cabinet, and my mother's fantastic raisin tarts she made every year.
Christmas Eve was always spent at my Uncle Red's home, with all of my other uncles, aunts, and cousins. Once in a while my grandparents from California showed up. We we enjoyed those times together as family until my teenage years, and I still remember every inch of my uncle's basement, bar, and nifty little alcove seats.
Then it was Christmas at home the next day. Then New Year's Eve, my dad use to go out the front door at midnight and come back in. He had some superstitious thing that good luck only came to the home when a male entered the house first after the New Year's. New Year's day it was ham dinner and saying goodbye to those darn tarts until next Thanksgiving. I haven't had a male enter my door after New Year's ever since I can remember. I could always pick up my male cat, hold him over the threshold on the other side, and then bring him back indoors. Would that count?
Sometimes, I feel like I'm surrounded by ghosts of the past - those holiday ghosts that haunt you. Now, after 11 years alone, with 75% of those holidays spent totally alone without any family around me, I'm sorry that I don't have memories of holidays to build with another person.
Each year, I tend to do less and less. I stopped putting Christmas trees up years ago and decorations. This year I don't even feel like cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for myself. I can never eat it all anyway, unless I live on leftovers for a week. It seems like such a waste. Oh, I do get those occasional invitations to join others, but I just can't bring myself to intrude upon another family like a fifth wheel just for a bit of turkey. I could always volunteer, I suppose, at a mission too.
Some who read this post may be single with children, parents, or siblings around you to enjoy the holidays, even though you don't have another person to smooch with under the mistletoe. Others of you may be totally alone. Your parents are dead, your kids are grown or you don't have any, your friends are elsewhere with their families, and it's just you and the turkey. You might find comfort in all the food you stuff down your throat. You might cry and have a pity party being alone; or like me, I tend just to think of it as another day, while I mumble a few prayers for the things I do have.
When we give thanks, however, what is the most important thing to be thankful for? Material things don't bring to my soul the happiness I really need. They don't fill the longing to be loved, nor are they eternal. I so often want to tell those who are married and with families not to blow it. Do whatever you can to keep your love alive for one another and your family emotionally healthy and bound together like glue. It's so important, and once lost or tossed away, you may never be given love and companionship again, no matter how many years you wake up and wish it was there under the tree on Christmas morning.
All I can say to my single readers is to give thanks for whatever it may be that blesses your lives, remember you are really not alone because others are going through the same thing, and keep your hope for the future that when the clock strikes midnight and it rolls over to 2011, it will hopefully contain all that you wish for in life.
Blessings to you all this holiday season, and I'll be back after the New Year.