Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Christmas Past... And Christmas Present

So, it's not the first set of Holidays we've been in Mourning... Dad passed right after Thanksgiving the year he went Home to be with the Lord.  I remember thinking I couldn't even Celebrate that Christmas, it took all I had to even put Decorations or a Tree up for the sake of the Children.  I didn't Care very much, I didn't Feel very Celebratory, but I'm Glad now I forced myself to Engage that Christmas and not let it slip by like any other days of the year.

But I remember that I intentionally did a very Simple Celebration that year for my own sake since Grief and Styling rarely mix very well.  It was more of a Spontaneously hastily pulled together Decorating and Style effort than I've ever done in a Christmas Past.   It actually turned out better than some of the more Contrived or Grandiose Styling efforts or Holiday Themes actually.  And so now it's my Default Holiday Style of going about Celebrating when circumstances dictate it would be best to almost let it evolve on it's own in haste and without much, if any, Thought or Plan.

With Mom going Home to be with the Lord this year just before Halloween I knew this was indeed going to be one of THOSE Holiday years.   And so I have barely given any Thought whatsoever as to what our Christmas might LOOK like here at Villa Boheme'?  Thankfully it is not our first Christmas here, it's our second, so I don't really Care how it all turns out actually.


I will allow it to be a Que Sera Sera kinda Christmas.  Whatever Decor or Ornamentation I can actually find or get to in the Hoarded Garage over by the Seasonal stash will be the Theme by default.   I'm thinking mebbe even a Salvage Theme might be more suitable since anything goes and it doesn't even have to be Purposed for Christmas necessarily to Work.

In fact, the year we had our first Salvage Christmas Tree Decorated in whatever was one of my all time Favorite Christmas Trees we ever had!  It was Nostalgic, it was Unusual as Hell, we had the Weirdest stuff strung up on there along with Vintage Family Photos... and it took about 15 Minutes as I recall to be finished!  It wasn't even Marathon Tree Decorating on Purpose, it was just so effortless and easy peasy to Decorate with whatever filled that decrepit Old White Faux Tree up.   And camouflage it being on it's last legs and ready to be Donated after that Christmas!  *Smiles*

If you had only seen that pathetic seen-better-days specimen of a Charlie Brown faux Tree, that was barely even still White anymore, BEFORE it got dressed up, you would have thought... surely you're NOT?!?   But I did... didn't Care... needed it that year to be one of THOSE years... we've had more than one you see and not just due to a Death in the Family.   Some of the Catastrophic Illness, Catastrophic Accident Events or Military Deployments of Dad or The Man caused it to be a similar situation some years, where it was a strain to Celebrate at all and yet we did it under extreme duress.

Often it's time to put on our Big Girl Panties and have a Make It Work kinda Christmas Celebration in the absence of Feeling the least bit Celebratory or going thru the Issues of Life, whatever they may be.  And I'm not saying that I didn't Feel SOME Christmas Cheer once I got Into it, how can you help not, when you are such a Big Kid at Heart about every Holiday.  It's hard to keep a damper on it once you infuse some of the Reason for the Season somewhere, it ignites the Spirit and Ministers to the Soul!

I just cannot Ignore WHY we Celebrate you see... it's too Spiritually Significant and Defines WHOSE we are so literally!   And I have to remember that His Birth wasn't such a easy row to hoe for The Blessed Mother and Joseph!  No room at the Inn and all that... tho' I know those who may be Purists will argue about the actual Timing of The Blessed Event being accurate.  But lets just stick with the Traditional loose Interpretation of Little Baby Jesus in the Manger for the sake of comparison... that the First ever Christmas was clearly Challenging and not the best possible set of circumstances for birthing a Child and Celebrate bringing Him into this World.  There was Adversity!

I've given birth... and I didn't have to ride a Donkey whilst in Labor, be turned away from the Hospitals my Children were born in nor have to birth them in a Stable with Livestock and no Modern conveniences.   So even if I have the most uncomfortable Christmas ever Emotionally, we're in much better conditions Physically than the Holy Family was during that first Christmas!  I've had some very Poor Christmases in my Past, to be sure, when times were real tough... but it doesn't quench the Joy quite like Grieving and being in Mourning does.

I've had Christmases so lean financially that we didn't have a damned thing under that Tree except what was generously Donated or Gifted by others or was secondhand castoffs we fixed up for the Children if we couldn't buy anything new.  But the Joy never sprang from the abundance of whatever we got, the Celebration was never diminished one iota by any lack during any year of Remembrance.  Not in my Childhood or any Adult year I've Celebrated the Season has the Gift part been an Issue that made or broke the Holiday Spirit.

 A broken Spirit, isn't that what we're really talking about here?  When you are Heartbroken over a Profound Loss and are still actively Mourning, it's just so hard, isn't it, to go on as if things were Normal like before the Death.  Because they are not, the Stages must be Experienced fully and that will somehow influence day to day Living until you Work your way thru it all.  Sometimes it doesn't even Feel like Grief, it just Feels Different and inexplicable each day you get up and go about your business as if by rote.

Well, gee, the Christmas things are out in the Shops and the Christmas Events are beginning... so perhaps I should be Feeling it somewhat and preparing?  I Enjoy the walking around Looking at it all, as a Spectator, that hasn't Changed during Mourning... but the Participating, well, that's having to be Forced.  It's not like Santa's Elves are showing up to assist so if I don't do it, well, it won't get done and I couldn't do that to the Family.

I've always been Lead Decorator of the Holidays at our Home you see, the rest of them just aren't that Into the Decorating and Styling for any Holiday, but they do have expectations of it appearing as if by Magic and Santa himself had a hand in it!   I remember as a Child my Parents always ensured every Holiday was Magical and Enchanting and I know, from their Life Struggles, that sometimes it HAD to Feel like this for them too.  But we'd of never known coz they never short-changed us of the Magic of it... or the Faith behind why we Celebrated being so Evident in how they walked out Life.  Not just at the most Holy Days but every day.

I'm Homesick as I can be as I look back at some Christmas Past in the Photo Archives, where it was Celebrated at Old Bohemian Valhalla.  With fondness I can look back and it's Okay so long as I don't get stuck back there, in the Past, and unable to move forward or be present and Mindful in the here and now.  I'm kind of mired in some muck right now Emotionally, so this Holiday won't be without some wear and tear evident, no matter how much I muster.

But I think I can pull it off... don't know how it will Look exactly, or Feel exactly, but I think it will come together some kind of way and perhaps even exceed the low expectations I have for it being poignantly Memorable in a Good way?  Maybe it will even be Challenging in an Interestingly Creative and Fun way to just put whatever on Display and how I Decorate and Style Trees this year?  By pure Serendipity and under Pressure perhaps the Magic that is Improvisation and Imagination will morph into a Glorious Wonder to behold?  *Smiles*

Miracles like that have clearly happened in the Christmases of Past that were burdened with Challenges of all sorts and turned out Sweetly Memorable regardless.  So I have Guarded Optimism that we might just have a similar Outcome this year?   I actually Plan to Dedicate this year's Inspiration, whatever it turns out to actually be, to Mom, for this first Christmas in my Life without her being on this Earth.

Which in and of itself Feels very Strange indeed.  But you do eventually get used to it, Christmas without Dad's presence got easier over the years, though the Missing really never actually diminishes.   And we've Lost enough Friends and Family to know that you have to prepare for someone to be Missing one day.   If they depart but not around a Holiday it kinda Helps I've found, for some reason a Holiday Mourning is just way suckier, or maybe that's just me?  I've put in my request for the Lord to not need to take me Home right at or right before a major Celebration when it's my Time, so as not to Spoil it for the rest of them forever.

But we know we don't get to choose like that, so we can only Hope the Timing isn't unfortunate in an even more Profound way than it just being unfortunate that it happens at all, you know?   And as I look back at Christmas Past a bit... I am starting to warm up to Christmas Present enough to make a few hasty decisions about it... subject to Change without Notice of coarse... since I have up til the day after Thanksgiving to figure this out!

We'll certainly Miss you terribly this Christmas tho' Mom!  Mwah... Kisses with Love all the way up to Heaven!!!


Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. Our Christmas is going to be much less decorated this year too due to my sisters cancer. But I will give our home a festive minimal look!

    1. I'll be following in those footsteps myself Marlynne... Dawn... The Bohemian


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

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