Christmas is right around the corner. One of the last big “first” for Prince Charming and me. I’m so excited about Christmas that I can hardly stand it. Buying presents. Decorating the house. Baking cookies. Going to company Christmas parties. Being with the families on Christmas Day. Going to Christmas Eve Midnight Mass. I feel like a little kid . . . and that’s a good thing because Christmas Spirit has been in short supply around here the past few years.
So you can imagine how excited I was to put up the Christmas tree and decorate the house last week. Prince Charming and I got out the tree and the containers with the decorations. He put up the tree and we put the lights on together. Then we started to put the ornaments on the tree.
That’s when things started to get a little strange for me. See, last year I started to decorat the house and put up the tree and put the lights on it before I broke my arm. After I broke my arm, I didn’t much care if the ornaments got on the tree or not. Thanks to the Percocet I was on for my arm, I thought the tree looked pretty cool with just lights on it. This is the first time I’ve looked the ornaments that XH and I had accumulated over the years. I hesitated to open the boxes because I didn’t really want to face the Ghosts of Christmas Past. But then I thought “Hey, it’s been a year. It’ll be fine.”
Famous last words. Each ornament that I pulled out had a memory attached to it. It had a story attached to it. Memories and stories that I had gathered up and packed away a long time ago. So there the stories were . . . smacking me in the face . . . kind of like that TV commercial for the antacid.
Prince Charming could tell I was having a hard time but never said anything to me. He just watched from a distance. Until the last ornament. It’s one that my Mom had made in ceramics years ago right before XH and I got married. Two little mice in an old fashioned sled. It has our names and the date on it. It’s absolutely adorable and I have always loved putting it on the tree. When I opened the tissue paper wrapper and saw what it was, I let out a deep sigh. I thought “I can’t put this on the tree!” I guess I had a funny look on my face because Prince Charming asked if I was okay . . . well that opened the flood gates and the tears just started to flow . . .
“I can’t do this. It’s been a whole year! Why does this hurt so bad? This is not how I wanted our first Christmas to be! How can I put this ornament on our tree?”
Prince Charming sat me down and explained to me that it was okay to hurt. It was okay to cry. It was time to let all of this stuff out. I’ve been trying to be wonder woman and hadn’t allowed myself time to deal with any of this stuff. I can’t get past it if I don’t deal with it . . . because it’s always gonna be there waiting to jump out and get me. I told Prince Charming that I want to take it all down and get all new stuff next year. He laughed and promised me that we could get new stuff next year if I wanted . . . but he also asked me to do him a favor and think about it overnight before we took down the tree. He promised that if I really wanted to take down the tree after I had a chance to sleep on it and think about it, then we would . . .
So I spent the day trying to avoid the tree . . . which is hard considering it’s in the middle of the dining room! Then I stared at the tree for a while . . . and I remembered the stories and the memories attached to the ornaments. And I came to terms with the Ghost of Christmas Past . . . that is what my life was. Next year I’ll have a tree that reflects what my life with Prince Charming is. And now I know that my past is what made me who I am today . . . and I can include that part of my life into this part of my life . . .