The holiday season is the last chance at some positivity in a year marred by darkness.
I’ve always had complicated feelings when it came to the holidays. The last time I saw my dad was Christmas 2002. Three days later, he was pronounced dead after a workplace accident in Innisfail.
I was 10 years old when he died. For more than a decade after, I had a really difficult time enjoying everything that is wrapped up in the holiday season – decorations, carols, Christmas parties. Suddenly, I no longer looked forward to the holidays with anticipation. It became a season when I would recall the last time I saw my father.
It has taken me a long time to get to a place where the holidays are a time of joy and connection again. As time passed, although Christmas brought up a dark period in my life, there came a point when I couldn’t let the pain define me anymore. I’m so grateful for that.
As the years have progressed, I’ve really started looking forward to the holiday season again. This year, I’m counting down the days until Christmas like I’m 10 years old again.
It may be naïve, but I have it in my head that the holidays can serve as a break from the chaos of 2020. I am hoping the holiday season will be, as it usually is, the time where we shut out the world and enjoy the company of our loved ones.
This year, it hasn’t been easy to stay connected and close with the people we care about. The COVID-19 pandemic has kept us from those we love who may be most vulnerable to the virus. In an effort to defeat something bigger than all of us, the pandemic has kept us from the family and friends with whom we have shared so many memories.
I don’t know what this year’s holiday celebrations will look like. Maybe we will have Christmas dinner and open gifts via FaceTime. I can’t say where we’ll be with the pandemic by then.
For everything I don’t know, I do know that we need to find a way to come together in whatever way possible to try and make the best of what should be a joyous and loving time.
I am hopeful we can, collectively, take a look at what we have made it through and really try to end the year right. We may not be able to be in the same room as our loved ones, but we can find a way to end 2020 on a positive note.