An Open Letter to Christmas
I’ve spent time with you off and on for the past 33 years. If I try really hard, I can remember a time when we got along. I can remember those moments that I would look forward to your arrival. Even when I began to get jaded, I’d still somewhat anticipate your impending presence if only because I needed more toothpaste, socks, and underwear (stocking staples).
Then I started to get some… issues. I chose to blame you for everything other than the people who caused pain. It was easier for me to say that it’s your fault. I’ve never been “good” at being angry. I’m the type that gets frustrated and then tries to move on. I don’t want to have anything hindering relationships. Even if I’m completely in the right, I’ll apologize to salvage the relationship. Yet, when these people broke me. When they removed the life from me, I couldn’t be angry with them. I put the blame on me. Somewhere around 10 or 12 years ago, I even wrote a letter to them apologizing for my role. Yes, my role in being abused and raped for three years. I apologized to them. I didn’t hear back from them and quite frankly, I’m glad that I didn’t. So, Christmas, I’m sorry, but I had to find “someone” to be angry with. I had to have a scapegoat. I chose you. I chose to put all of my misery and hurt and humiliation and bitterness and every ugly thought and fear that I had inside of me onto you. I’m sorry. I was wrong.
Yesterday, I spent time with Kelly’s family. It was scary and at times intense. The whole time I was there, I felt trapped and that I needed to leave. Yet, while driving home with her, I realized that I kind of liked it. Not necessarily the stress and fear that I’d make a poor impression – that I most assuredly detested. Rather, I liked knowing that we’re all flawed people, we all have baggage, but once a year we can get together, and show love in whatever ways come naturally. Some show it with hospitality, some gifts, some in cooking, some by just sitting next to you and chatting about absolutely nothing to make you not feel like an outsider. Only one thing can do that – you – Christmas.
So, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I’ve been blaming and hating you for everything. I chose to write this as an open letter to you to keep me accountable. The next time I utter the words “I hate Christmas”, I hope I will be corrected. I don’t hate you. I want to love you. I’m trying. I really am.
Thank you for your patience.