I'm lucky - We don't celebrate Christmas over here.  Because as far as I can tell, it is the hardest day of the year (outside of birthdays and anniversaries) for parents who've lost a child. I can understand why. The whole season is full of "cheer" and children, their innocence and happiness is the prime focus.

Knowing that I'm Jewish, people have asked me for my whole life at this time of year why I am not "getting into the Christmas spirit".  I've always found it a little more than annoying.  I feel like my Jewishness should be an appropriate tip off.  When I was working as a real estate agent, very briefly, I can remember being in the office with another agent on a Saturday who was dressed in her Christmas sweater, with Christmas earrings, and Christmas socks. She was greeting all of the walk-in potentials by calling out "Ho Ho Ho", in her silliest Santa voice.  And while I could appreciate her enthusiasm, for me it was just another Saturday.  At some point late in the afternoon she expressed her disappointment in my lack of Christmas spirit. I thought it was pretty ignorant for her to not understand how being Jewish kind of took me out of the whole Christmas thing.
Looking back and knowing what I know today, her offense was pretty minor...considering the stories I hear from other bereaved parents.  A woman who lost her young daughter only several months ago was greeted at work by a Christmas sweater wearer who asked her where her Christmas spirit was.  A Holiday card sent to another bereaved parent with the message, "We hope this is your Merriest Christmas yet!!". Fat chance! Loads of Christmas greetings with mention of everyone in the family except for the deceased child - thrown straight in the trash.  Though Christmas cards just about killed me in the year following Maxie's death, they don't anymore. We like them. But we don't have a display on our mantel and we definitely aren't sending out cards of our own. How to sign them? Which photos to put on them? Why bother anyway? We aren't Christian!  

What I'm saying here is that Christmas is hard for those who celebrated, or couldn't wait to celebrate it, with their children. It's more than hard actually. And even though I am lucky not to have to deal with it at all - I get it. I'm so sorry you have to face this day without your beloved babies. This hurdle will be over soon.  And for those of you in the Christmas spirit - Merry Christmas. Just know that we are counting on you to carry the spirit for us, because we don't have it ourselves...for a number of reasons.  XOXO

1 comment

Anonymous said...

I came from China, so I don't celebrate christmas, but my husband does. I still feel more sadness from the festival spirits all around me.