Some people just can’t see the good of the holidays and they get bitter, sad, and extraordinarily lonely. The holidays can be difficult for the best of us but we should try to find a way to enjoy the holidays with cherished memories of our childhood holidays.
I came from a difficult home and upbringing BUT that being said I have a lot of terrific memories. I remember a lot of fun memories from creating a Christmas recording with my sister every year where we actually had guest artists join us like John Denver (okay he really didn’t come but we pretended and would play his stuff while we sang with him), my sister would have a talent show on Christmas Eve with her kids and we shared a ton of laughs.
The one Christmas memory I’d like to hare is one where my parents, my brother and I were just hanging out in the living room with Christmas décor complete with the tree. I remember my mom was rocking me in the rocking chair (I was probably 5 but I loved being rocked by my mom and she actually liked doing it) and my brother and dad were figuring out something on the floor. It was a calm night and I lived in a small town in Utah. As we were blissfully enjoying a rare calm evening as a family in stomped Santa Claus! He burst through the front door with his red suit and black boots with a big HO HO HO! I couldn’t believe my eyes! Santa was standing right in front of me! Me, little red-headed Jaidene. Why did he come to my home? I must be super special for Santa Claus, himself, to come to MY house! My brother and I were speechless yet giddy with excitement. My parents had smiles on their faces too (which was rare). Santa had a bag and he reached in and had presents for my brother and I. My brother, Jack, got a really cool diesel truck with a trailer that detached, it was heavy metal, had a red cab, and was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I loved it! I got a doll which I had been wanting for a long time but I can’t remember the kind of doll it was because I was so surprised by Santa standing in MY HOUSE!
This memory never fails to fill me with a warm memory of a time before my family was torn apart by divorce, and a pause in my parents fighting. I look back at this time with such fondness and love that I want to call my brother. I swore for years that Santa was real even into my teenage years using this experience as an example of empirical knowledge of his existence. After all, I had actually seen him in person!
All of us can stay in bad memories of the holidays and our childhood but it is the pause we need to take to look back at even one memory that can fill us with the love of the season. When I turn my thoughts to the good memories I forget how my mom was so hateful during the tree decorating, how she would make me do it alone, and complained about having to get a tree in the first place. I choose to remember to linger on the sweetness of the season of Santa, my siblings sleeping together upstairs in my sister’s room waiting for Santa and my brother and I whispering about what we think Santa was going to bring us.
Covid may make us sad and celebrating the holidays this year may have been a struggle but it is all about what we focus on that will make it happy, warm, and memorable. I challenge all of us this year to simply return our thoughts to the positive, what we DO have, and not keeping up with the Jones’s. Sometimes less is more as the saying goes.