‘Tis the season right? Today is Christmas Day, the day we plan for over several months. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. Cliche or not, I’ve always loved it. The music, gifts, the lights, the food. Growing up in Philadelphia, having the meal of Seven Fishes at my grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve, is one of my best memories. As much as I love this time of year and love to cook, I’ve never tried to recreate this meal…I think out of respect, maybe even a little out of intimidation. After I moved out West, and had kids of my own, Christmas became even more magical. Although I was divorced from the kids’ dad when they were young, we always made sure that the holiday was about family and I’m not sure if I’m deluding myself but I really believe the kids never felt the awkward tug of two households and bouncing back and forth. My ex and his wife even were gracious enough to always let the kids wake up with me on Christmas morning during those years it was just the three of us. In case I never said “thanks” Dan and Tracey: “Thanks!”.
This year was different. My amazing daughter Casey is living in New York with a new job and couldn’t get the time off to come home. It really put me in a funk once I realized. I didn’t feel like shopping (weird) and I didn’t even want to put up a tree. Casey and I always decorated the tree (save that one year I did it myself to surprise her when she came home on Christmas break….that was OUR tradition and she was furious with me….I still don’t think she’s forgiven me) with ornaments I’ve had for 25 years. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I just didn’t FEEL like it. I still invited close friends to dinner on Christmas Eve, but my heart just wasn’t in it. I didn’t FEEL like cooking, wrapping, talking, etc.
But you know what, I faked it. I prepped. I cooked. I decorated the table. People were counting on me. You don’t invite close friends on Christmas Eve and serve them pizza with a side of your own shitty attitude. You suck it up. You do it. And you fake it. Until you make it.
Sitting here now, wrapped in a blanket enjoying the sight of the dogs snoring and my husband and son watching a movie, I realized I made it through. Casey is still 3,000 miles away and I’m still a little grumpy. But we’ve had a wonderful holiday and made some great memories, even though I didn’t FEEL like it. I think I’ll remember this over the next six months. I know there will be times that I won’t FEEL like working out, or eating chicken, or having sparking water instead of vodka. But I’ll fake it, and I’ll make it through. Sometimes you need to ignore your feelings and just do what you know you need to do. Who wants to wallow, when you can get up, snap out of it, and just get it done. Merry fucking Christmas.