Tis the season, or so they say. Everyone is getting excited, decorating their tree, house, cars and everything else they own in the spirit of Christmas. With all this joy and holiday cheer you would think that this little miss happy would be jumping in full swing, I’m not.
For years I hated this holiday and it seems that that trend has continued and it’s sad. Cindy use to love this holiday just as much as I did when I was younger. I remember surprising her one year decorating the front of our first house. Now however it seems that I personally could go without even putting up a tree and it wouldn’t bother me. It frightens me that my negativity has spread to my wife.
Many may be wondering what happened in these last few years and let me tell you it was a lot. I started really dealing with deep depression at the age of 22, I hid it well to most but my home life suffered. Every year it got a little worse and without even thinking about it, the joy left. The magic died and as the years progressed, so did my depression. It truly was a culmination of things, from the financial struggles to dysphoria that just added to the pain.
This year I wanted to try and find my joy again. We had major plans for an awesome first Christmas in our new home. I wanted to decorate the outside, put a huge real tree in the foyer, and stock the bottom of it with presents my girls would love but again I was slapped with financial issues that limit what I can do. Here’s to losing the ambition I had.
I tried to help with decoration at my moms. She always has such an amazing layout and the house is always festive, from the decorations, to the smell it just screams Christmas. I had hoped this joy would give me a boost, but then we hit the stockings…
My mother embroidered stockings for everyone in the family. The look amazing and every year we hang them from the stairway for the holiday season. With my current state of transition my mom and dad have done a damn good job of coping. They have struggled with it, but still managing to learn and grow. So what could be so interesting about a stocking you may ask… Well mom pulled it out and looked at it. I could see a pang of pain in her eyes as she looked at me and said “you don’t have to hang this if you don’t want too…” For her sake I hung the stocking that reads “Mike”. It hurt, but it would hurt them worse to not see it. On a bigger note, what pain would it cause to ask for a stocking that reads “Ali”.
For years I opened presents that my parents thought long and hard about to get me what I would want. I smiled and appreciated so much of what they did and still do… But a few years back I said no more clothes… I couldn’t handle opening a bunch of male clothes anymore. This year I said the truth to my mom…. I would love clothes… But the kind I would actually want to wear. I’m not sure what that will bring or if they can handle purchasing something like that yet but she sure does a great job with everything else.
So what is the point of all this? We’ll it’s what I see as the true meaning of Christmas. It’s not about presents, lights, trees, or anything materialistic. It’s about family, and understanding one another. It’s about togetherness. It’s about family and friends. It’s about love, understanding, and acceptance. I may not be an easy person to deal with but my parents have never wavered in their love. They have accepted me at a comfortable pace and as I sit here and try and find my spirit… I realize that I already have the greatest gift of all… A loving family. Everything else is just lights and trimming.
So maybe I never lost my spirit… It was there all along. I just had to open my eyes and see it again. My family is my world and without them I would be lost. So here’s to a new beginning where I will push for the joy of the materialistic because of the people who truly matter.