Christmas has come and gone. It's funny how much I let it all escalate when it's not even "my" holiday to begin with. I'm from a Jewish family and never had the whole hoopla associated with the holiday that so many other folks here in the States grew up with. There is no magical splendor of a childhood Christmas remembered that I am trying to emulate.
It wasn't really a big deal for me at all until I became a mother and then intensified a thousand fold when I was a mother in a troubled marriage in a foreign country and then even more again once I became a single mother back home in my original stomping grounds. Part of it is certainly a reaction to spending over a dozen years in a marriage where my partner thought all holidays and celebrations were a waste of time; distasteful, sentimental foolery at worst and not worth his time and effort at best. So for years I was fighting to convince myself that celebrations and traditions mattered and weren't just crutches for people who couldn't stay out of the mush.
Now I'm at a point where I can savor the traditions I know from the past and even feel confident enough to initiate one or two new ones of my own. This year saw our second annual cookie baking extravaganza. Last year's bash may have had more participants, but this years' was intimate and just as memorable. And the cookies were just as tasty. And I've come up with some ideas for ways to mark the end of the old year and greet the new one.
The court has had its say on holiday scheduling issues and this year sees me losing a few days with my girl that I'd have with her in a regular week. Oh well, such is life. We are making the time count by spending it well all together. And if I let myself fall into a funk over things that aren't able to be, all I really need to do is take a look back at where some things stood just a year ago and rejoice in the progress that has happened over the past year. One year ago I was stuck in a situation where I had to regularly bring my girl to a therapist who tried to paint me as uncaring and worthy of scorn, despite my attempts to be honest and open, and who seemed to encourage my daughter's estrangement. Now we are half a year free of that closed-minded quack and I relish every hug and kiss my girl bestows upon me. And the silly jokes, silly dancing, group hugs, the line-up of "family feet" and even the gaseous volleys all really make my heart swell. We used all of our patience and wisdom to let things grow and unfold without pushing. If waiting for that silly piece of paper calls for a little more patience, then we will be patient. I'd much rather have us all be in eager anticipation than reluctant co-habitation.