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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Another Christmas..

First off…

It’s all set. Riley will be going to the nursing home on January 4th for five days so that I can have time to rest. I’m checking into a Courtyard Marriott on the evening of the 4th and enjoying three nights of stress-free bless. I don’t plan on venturing outside my room.

Thank you very much to everyone who donated to make this time away a reality. If you haven’t donated and feel that it is something you want to do – just click on the donation button in the previous post. I’m still trying to pull money together to allow me to go to dinner at a restaurant or two.

Anyway… on to other things…

It’s Christmas and I usually do some kind of Christmas post. Christmas is not a fun day for families of alcoholics. Even if the alcoholic is not drinking there is always an undercurrent of the possibility of a shoe dropping at any moment. It is stress at the maximum level. Not wanting to add to that stress by reminding us of the possibilities of disaster, I decided to try posting something a little lighter.

Growing up in the 1950s in a small
agricultural town, Christmas was the biggest holiday of the entire year. At least it was in our household. Friends and relatives from all over the state would “move-in” for a couple of weeks and celebrate with us. We didn’t have enough beds and people covered the living room floor in sleeping bags and bundled blankets. It was literally wall-to-wall people. We loved the crowdedness and chaotic disorganization.

For us kids, all those people meant our dishwashing duties would be made easier because there would be other kids added to the list. There was always a game of monopoly going on and people outside playing softball. On Christmas Eve we went up and down our street, singing Christmas songs. We were happy even though there was the normal argument or two.

On Christmas morning the kids would be up bright and early to play with the Santa gifts left unwrapped. The adults will be in the kitchen drinking coffee and starting to cook a big breakfast feast. Then at some point all the work stopped and everyone gathered in the living room where my father handed out the Christmas gifts. One by one, the tags were read, “To Linda from Richard” “To Gary from Mom”… then the gift was opened and thank you would be yelled across the room. It took forever to get through all the gifts, tag readings and thank yous.  When it was all over the room was a sea of torn Christmas wrap. My aunt sat in the corner trying to smooth the wrap and fold it neatly so it could be used the next year.

Over the next few days, the house would empty with people returning to their own homes. Our dishwashing routine would return to normal. The sleeping bodies on the floor would diminish and by the time New Year’s Day rolled around our home would be back to normal. Well… normal for us anyway.

This year, I have what I have always wanted for Christmas. I have a house filled with family which includes four small children and six adults along with three dogs and two cats. This big old fashioned country house will be the setting of a big old fashioned Christmas. I need no other gifts.

As with the birth of Christ on Christmas, I always feel that Christmas Day is the birth of a new opportunity for a better year. I don’t really consider New Year’s Day as the beginning of the year – for me it’s always Christmas Day. This opportunity is a gift I receive that doesn’t come wrapped up with a pretty bow. It’s just there… a feeling of freshness.  It’s a gift of a million possibilities just waiting to be opened.

I know… I know… the upcoming year is also going to be filled with obstacles to my productivity, peacefulness, and wellness. I’m certain I’ll get through it. But, for now, I don’t want to think of all that negativity. I’d rather enjoy the holiday and be positive that obstacles that may look like mountains will only turn out to be road bumps.

May each of you enjoy a peaceful and happy holiday season.

1 comment:

JBthatsme said...

Greetings Linda & other posters, I'm happy to hear that you are getting a well deserved break, as the magic of Christmas is upon us, it's wonderful to know that some kind readers donated (I'm sorry that I wasn't able to donate). I also appreciated hearing your post of a happy Christmas from back in the day. Today all I can seem to think about is all that hasn't gotten done. But I'm hoping your childhood christmas will help to remind me of happier times growing up (days when my father was around and not drinking). I hope you have a wonderful vacation and enjoy some good rest and relaxation. And i hope that your family Christmas is wonderful, wonderful to have the family (animals included of course) around. Merry Christmas to you and yours (readers too) and here's to the beginning of a new year with bright possibilities.