Getting Over a Grinch-Styled Pity Party

large gold ball ornament on the left side with title words on the right.
I think I am officially over my Grinch-Styled Pity Party. This was such a special time in my family. Mama (who was the organist at church) would be busy getting the music and choir ready for Midnight Mass while making oodles of candy and cookies for us. And then making sure we all had a few presents under the tree on top of that. I honestly have no idea how in the world she did it, and how she did it for so long.
I've mentioned before that even after most of us were married and had our own families, Mama would make candy & cookies and would spread them out on the table. We'd bring our tins and line up, cafeteria style, to fill them up. Then came the Christmas when she gave us our own copies of her recipes, followed by her announcement that she wasn't going to make anything anymore. The end of an era. It hit me a few weeks ago that I'm surprised she did it as long as she did. I kept up the tradition with my boys, but as they've gotten older I've cut back. Last year I asked them what their favorites were and then I made those. Of course, they said chocolate covered cherries which is the most time consuming and hardest thing to make! This year I may not even do that. OS is across the country (again) and MS said he didn't want anything. YS again said chocolate covered cherries but he added that he knew they were hard to make so he didn't need them. (I think it's time to teach him how to make them and pass the molds on to him!)

When Will it Ease Up?

Right around Thanksgiving, I started feeling a little down. After Mama passed away I made sure I was at Mass with Daddy, especially if none of my siblings were able to be there. I knew the Midnight Mass in 2016 would be my last one with him. I couldn't bring myself to go last year; it was all I could do to make it through an earlier Mass. I keep wondering, "When will it ease up?" We had so many traditions growing up, most of which I passed on to my boys. That is what makes Christmas so special to me.

Snapping Out of It

So, yeah, I was a little down the couple of weeks following Thanksgiving. I finally snapped out of it on December 8th, which is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on the Catholic Liturgical Calendar. (I won't go into exactly what that is here, but if you're interested click here to read a post on my Catholic Blog.) I will say that this is a "Holy Day of Obligation", or a day when we're required to attend Mass. I was sitting there in the pew and I see a dad and his son walk in. This dad lost his wife very suddenly about a year ago (I think it was), and left him with 2 kids (they aren't yet in high school). I sat there thinking, "What is wrong with me? Waa, waa. I'm 56 years old and my parents are gone. I was lucky to have them as long as I did since Mama was 33 when she had me. I have my spouse and my boys. I should be thankful that I have them." Then, after Mass, a lady who lost her husband this past year came up to me and told me she sees my mom every time she looks at my face. This is her first Christmas without her husband, and I'm down because I don't have my parents??? That pretty much snapped me out of it pretty quickly. Then this happened the next day:
If that doesn't get you in the holiday mood, nothing will! It started coming down during Mass, which was a little distracting. Since I play the flute in the choir, I'm facing the back of the church which has a huge glass front. In the reflection (with the heavy snow falling outside), I can see the advent candles and the stained glass in the back of the altar, which represents "The Day the Sun Danced":
NOW I'm ready to put my tree up (and decorate it!) and do a little more decorating for Christmas. Will I bake or make candy? Probably not. CH & I definitely don't need it and the boys haven't expressed an interest. Christmas is going to look different for us this year: MS won't be home until Christmas Day so we won't have the traditional Christmas Eve Dinner; I'll save that until Christmas Day. He said all he wants is a french toast casserole that I make every year for brunch. Like I said, OS is across the country so he obviously won't be home. YS still lives here, so he'll be here.

It's All About the Traditions

I love Christmas; I always have. It's not about the presents (that's one thing I don't like about it) but it's about family and tradition. I still don't think the boys "get it" but hopefully when they start having kids they will. I hope that when CH & I are gone they will remember Christmas with fond memories and won't let the Grinch get a hold of them!
Pinterest picture with a gold ball ornament on the top and the title words on the bottom


  1. Hugs to you!! I can say, from personal experience, that it does get easier. Enjoy your sons!! Enjoy your hubby!! Enjoy the reason for the season.

  2. ((HUGS)) I pray that you have a very Merry Christmas. Things change and change is never easy. We must always count the many blessings that we do have.

  3. I think this time of year is always a bit hard. The expectation, memory, sense of nostalgia and loss, all the doing... it's easy to feel grinch like. I'm glad you're regaining perspective, but don't be too hard on yourself. Grief is grief and it's natural to feel it more at the holidays when family has meant so much. Take care.


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