Trying to Hold off the Holidays

Here they come round the bend like a pack of dogs chasing that rabbit on a racetrack.

No way to slow them down, no way to step to the side and ward off the relentless message that Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming soon-so, so soon.

Internet ads scream, “You’ve got to buy it NOW!  You’re running out of time!”

Billboards, radio and television ads, and calendars count down the days.

Decorations assault my eyes and ears and nose (thank you pumpkin everything!).  I cannot get away.  There’s no where to hide.

pumpkin spice

So I have decided to take the offensive.  I will do the things that must be done as quickly, as efficiently and as quietly as possible.

I am sending Thanksgiving cards instead of Christmas cards.  I like the fall colors better than traditional yuletide hues anyway.  No one says the yearly update letter has to be postmarked in December.

Our gift-giving is much simpler now than before Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.  I’m less inclined to wrap dozens of presents to pile under the tree and more likely to give cash or gift cards along with a heartfelt note.   So I will get all this together before the weather warrants a fire here in the Deep South.

I’m easily overwhelmed.

And too much of anything just seems like entirely. too. much.

Instead of loads of decorating that involves changing out all the everyday with holiday, I will put out a few bright things and lots of candles.

glowing candles huff post

Flickering light in approaching darkness speaks hope to my heart.

I will concentrate on people, not on things.  I am making space on the calendar for casual conversation instead of constant motion.

I won’t be swept along by the yuletide current, struggling for air, barely making it to January and glad the holidays are over.

Sip and savor.

That’s my motto.

I’m sticking to it.

coffee cup fall leaves

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

9 thoughts on “Trying to Hold off the Holidays”

  1. I am very depressed and don’t want to even acknowledge the holidays. I just want to hibernate this year. I have three daughters and one grandson. My husband is very depressed too. Luke it be bad to do nothing. It seems that even after five years the wind it’s still out of my sails. I am having a very hard time right now missing my son.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think time, by itself, changes a thing. And five years hit me hard-half a decade took my breath away!

      It may be that this year is a simpler year and you don’t do as much. That’s perfectly OK. You can do something for your grandson to make it special without all the extra hoopla.

      Praying the Lord meets you where you are and gives you the strength to hold onto hope. ❤


  2. Last year was our first. Your blog said to plan ahead and that’s what we did. Instead of the “usual” family get together, we looked to the future and had Christmas with another family. My oldest daughter’s boyfriend’s family. As difficult as it was, it worked for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was discussing this with my daughter in law yesterday. We lost our 17 yr old and 8 yr. old granddaughters in July in a tragic accident. We have 6 other grandchildren. We all have always gathered for brunch on Christmas Day. My husband and I don’t want to celebrate like that this year. We thought we could just go to our other two boys home and give our gifts and visit. My daughter in law wants to go away for a few days with my son and granson (who was there when the accident happened). She cannot bear the thiught of being around any Christmas activities at all. Yesterday, my grandson told her he wanted to stay home and do Christmas like we always do. She told him it wouldn’t be the same but he told her it was as close to normal as he can get and that’s why he wants it. My son will do what my daughter in law wants to make things easier for her even though he thinks no matter where they are they won’t escape the pain of the day. How do others handle this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mary, I’m so sorry! My heart goes out to you. We lost our oldest son who was at college. Our youngest son was 13, that year. We tried to make things “normal” as I could stand. I couldn’t stand to have Christmas in the normal way. We put the tree in the kitchen, instead of the living room. I couldn’t bear to see his empty spot. I didn’t place stockings up, but placed my younger son’s in the kitchen. I can understand how your daughter in law feels. Maybe you can invite your son and grandson over and have a small Christmas with them before they leave town. Tell your daughter in law she can come if she wants to, but you understand how she wants to avoid Christmas. It helps me to focus on my younger son, as much as I can. I’m not sure how old your grandson is, but my younger son wanted thinks to be as “normal as possible”, and I try to do that. My husband always tells me “you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.” So maybe you can honor both your daughter in law and your grandson in this way. Our first Christmas goal was just to make it through the holidays, however we could.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Mary, I am so sorry.It is so recent….. Take a clue from Melanie’s blog. We spend so much energy doing things we don’t have the energy to do. Grief is exhausting.
      My husband and I have not hosted Thanksgiving in many years and for the first several only went only for a drink before the long dinner. (My son Connor died 8 years ago as a result of landlord negligence in his apt in NY.) I just can’t deal with the relentless gratitude thing at Thanksgiving. We go to his cemetery and leave something & I light a candle…
      Christmas was both of my kid’s favorite night. I decorate minimally, do not do a trim a tree party. I do decorate a tree with my husband as for some crazy reason seeing all the ornaments is like a journey on the path of his life, combined with the lights of our love.
      You are smart to consider all this early. You can be there for your grandson..he needs to know life still goes on for him. I consider this my life’s purpose now, with my family.
      Again, I am so sorry to read of this….my heart breaks for you all..xoxox

      Liked by 1 person

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