This year, this season, is different than any other that has ever been, and if we are smiled upon by fate, there won't be many more like it. October is usually when it starts, when we begin to plan and prepare for the holidays and for our family events. We start thinking about our needs, our wants, and the things that we would like to see one another accomplish. But this year everything has disassembled at an unexpected and alarming rate.
Shit fell to pieces. This promises to be the most trying and tear-filled holiday season that my family has seen in my adult life. I say 'my adult life' because I'm certain that there have been difficult holidays when I was younger; however, I've come to find that in some ways we voluntarily wear the bliders of convenience when we're young.
If I don't get to bring some smiles and laughter and happy times to my family this Christmas, I'm not really sure what I'll do. I can't imagine a holiday without showering them with gifts and affection. I can't bear to hold back when this is really the only time of year that we insist on doing things for one another and expecting nothing in return. The rest of the year, we do without and go without as part of the normal course of economic turmoil. We expect it, and we embrace it, and the Lord always provides for us; sometimes in the most unexpected ways. But Christmas is the one opportunity to do for our family without reserve. To give and give and give and smile so hard our faces hurt. It's our only chance to throw caution to the wind and get someone something that they truly need or desperately want. And this year, it promises to be bleak.
I think that we were prepared for this to a degree; however, that doesn't mean that it won't be a shattering experience when it comes down to the wire, and I've not been able to rush out and buy every single thing that I want my brother to have. Or everything that my mother wants but would never buy for herself. Or all of the crafty goodness that my grandma wants but can't make excuses to buy for herself. Or all of the great and wonderful things that I know Leslie would truly appreciate. This year will be different. It will be difficult, and I don't think that I'm yet prepared for how difficult it will be.
It seems so small and insignificant, but I feel like the lack of doing and giving has pulled me apart at the binding and revealed my tender, soft, vulnerable spots to the world. If I can't do Toys4Tots, I don't know what I'll do with myself.