I will not make or break the holiday

So, we do not have a tree here in the cabin in VT.


JC has been traveling for a week and my hope is that after he gets home around midnight tonight or so, and gets some sleep while I wake up before six and go to to work, that tomorrow night… tomorrow night  when I get home, maybe, maybe, we will decide to get a tree. In anticipation of this revelry, I unraveled strings of Christmas lights and tacked them along the edges of the bookcase, wrapped them around the base of the standing lamp, and between the stockings nailed to the wall above the gas stove. This is not like me. Historically I’ve been home alone on Christmas. There was of course the dedicated years, ten or twenty or so ago where I would drive from relative-house to relative-house to relative-house and ring-in the holiday with extended family, nieces and nephews and the like. It was nice, but here’s the thing: at the end of the Christmas Day, I always felt pretty empty.

The opposite of full.

It was as if spending time with all my siblings and their families—ringing in some new tradition—left me feeling more alone and more alienated from the holiday than ever before. I’m an adult, and technically I am not a part of these new families: I am an interloper, a relative that hangs on the periphery whether I show or not—the new traditions will go on. This is the hardest part of all. Because despite my siblings’ best hoorays of, “We would love to have you over the holidays!” the end is the end and that is: the holiday will go on with or with out you. No one is depending on you to make it so.

I do not make or break anyone’s holiday. Not even my own. For this I hug the periphery.

Let’s see if we end up with a tree here in the cabin.



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