Friday, December 21, 2007


I have a love-hate relationship with this time of year. As a child, I was amazed by everything! I loved lighting the menorah, decorating the tree, and spending time with family. And of course, Santa was my favorite part! As you get older, the magic seems to die a bit. I still remember the Christmas eve about 10 years ago, when my dad packed up his stuff and left. I was completely crushed. I knew my mom and dad weren't happy, and that things were going on that I didn't know about, but I didn't understand how he could leave his family on Christmas eve. I remember going shopping with friends (who kindly took me out to get my mind off things), and walking around the Boulevard Mall, trying not to cry the entire time. I felt numb. And how awful it must have been for my mom, to have her husband walk out on Christmas Eve. I got home, and my dad was back. He couldn't commit to leaving, made my mom some promises, and swore that things would change. I knew better at that moment, and knew it was just a matter of time. Another woman was involved, and while he was back, he wasn't really there. We went through the motions that year, no one was really happy. We all knew the inevitable was coming, and it did. 2 months later my dad left for good, and my parents were separated and divorced by the end of summer. While I know associating this with christmas is completely unfair, it's hard for me not to. The following Christmas, my mom, brother and I took a train to NYC to get away from the memories. We saw "A Christmas Carol", had amazing food, and just spent time together. It was great! But in the back of our heads, were the memories from the year before.

Ever since, I've dreaded this time of year. I tend to crawl into a shell, hide away and wait for the time to pass. This year it's been really easy to do at work, since we've been in a transition period and I was the first of many to move to our new spot. I had the place to myself for a few weeks. But at home, I can't really hide at all. My daughter is really experiencing Christmas for the first time. Even though this is her 4th Christmas, it's so different this year! She knows who Santa is, helped us really decorate the tree. Helped bake cookies. Helped wrap some presents. She's experiencing all of the magic that christmas should bring! She also was the same with Hanukkah. She loved lighting the candles, playing dreidel, and eating the latkes and brisket I made. Her joy is starting to rub off on me, and is helping me to really love the holidays again. While I'm pretty far away from being joyful this time of year, it's definitely helping me get excited for christmas again. It's amazing to me, how one event around the holidays can change how you feel about it for ever. I'll probably never let a christmas eve pass without thinking about the one years back when my dad left (and came back). I'm just really glad that the sadness associated with it is really starting to diminish, and I'm actually looking forward to Christmas this year. My daughter's magic is rubbing off on me, and I'm so grateful for that!

I hope all of you have a wonderful Holiday season, and that this is the last you'll have to get through before your dreams come true.