Normally, the holidays bring me joy. This year, I struggle with finding happiness and joy. I have many reasons for being all humbug this year yet, I know I have to pull out of this dark and gloomy attitude. I wish I weren't so grumpy but I just can't seem to shake this gloom reverberating from my soul. I just haven't found my happiness yet this year.
The Christmas cards sit next to me on the table but I just humph at them as I give them a sideways glance. Usually, the Thanksgiving weekend I toil at the task. This year, the box sits on top of the colorfully everlasting stamps that will perfectly match the card inside. I glance over and yell in my head, "Oh shut the bleep up! I will get to you at some point this season." With a shake of my head, I just don't want to. I am really considering not sending any. The stamps will be good still next year. I know, I won't do that. Eventually, I will send some to those who matter to me. Not today though. I just don't have it in me at the moment.
Saturday night, the small town I am from, was full of celebration with the annual holiday parade. After a full day's work, I dressed warm and drove myself downtown to partake in the moment that I have always loved. I invited my daughter and grandbabies but she thought our newest was too tiny to be out in the cold. So, alone I went to take in the sights and lights.
One would think the parade would help me to grow merriment in my scrooge-like heart. As I retired teacher, I love to watch the excitement of children during the holiday season. I smiled to see that I was surrounded by youth and settled into the perfect spot where I could watch the young and old share in the celebration.
I picked a spot way upfront so I could see all floats that would pass by me. Being short, I usually miss a lot of the parades because taller people scoot their way in front of me. I decided, not this year, I was going to fight for a good spot. I stood my ground and shooed people away who dared to step in front of me. My scowl must have been pretty convincing for they always apologized and stepped away from my coveted space. This outing was for me and no one was going to ruin it. I stood proudly in front of the crowed surrounded by anxious children.
As the masses waited, I watched the children run and play in the streets. I watched their eyes search the main street for the parade as it advanced down the hill towards us. I listened to parents scold the youth in order to control their young ones. I was never so thankful that the sound of the marching band began to silence their bellowing. In moments, the awe of the masses' excitement grew and I stood patiently waiting for the show to begin.
Police sirens sounded. The parents pulled the youth to the side to make way for the celebration advancing upon us. I watched the children as they covered their ears as the red and blue lights pass by us. Then, the band came into view. Blue and white uniforms passed by as horns and drums blended together as one to send, 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas' ringing through the air as the band traveled down the street. I smiled as band parents pushed their way to the front of the line. Flashes from their phones caught pictures of their child in uniform. Today, I saw some of those pictures in memorable shots they shared on the internet. I smiled as I watched the rows of youth pass by me. I remembered the days where my boots beat the asphalt in the holiday parade. With a quick shrill of a siren, I was pulled back into the events unfolding before us.
The children pushed the limits of their parents and advanced to the front of the crowd. I smiled as I watched their eyes dart left and right. The aw of the lights were reflected in their eyes as the bright floats passed by. I smiled as I watched them scurry for candy that was landing around them on the ground. I bit my lip as they swarmed the people who were throwing handfuls into the crowd. I felt the panic of the parents when a child darted in between moving floats.
Even though I was entertained, I felt as if I were alone. I didn't get to see the lights reflecting off my grandbabies eyes. I didn't get to see then search for a treat with the other greedy grabbing children. I just was. I was the witness to other's happiness but it just didn't bring me the happiness I had hoped for. I didn't find joy in the aloneness.
When Santa passed by, that was the close the parade, I turned and walked back to my car. With cold hands, I reached into my pocket to find something unusual in my pocket. Confused, I stopped to investigate the content within to find a chocolate bar. I remembered the moment during the parade where the local candy store was passing by us. They were handing out full candy bars. I wasn't able to get one and I was a little disappointed. I was taken aback when a rude lady pushed her way to the front to ask for five candy bars. I thought that was greedy. I thought, 'What kind of example is she showing to the kids?' She pushed back past me and I thought nothing more of it. I don't even remember her face. She was just another face in the parade.
I don't know when she placed that candy bar in my pocket. Obviously I didn't even know she did until that moment. As I stood there I held back a tear because I was so thankful for the gift. Santa's deeds are invisible and she did the deed so stealthy. I stopped in my steps and turned once again to the lit street lights and smiled. I held my first gift of the season in my cold fingers and gave gratitude to the lady. As I settled into my car, I removed the treat from my pocket and nibbled my blues away.
I have wondered through the day why I was one of the chosen for the gift. Perhaps, she was watching me as I was trying to enjoy the moment. Perhaps there was moments of awe she witnessed with me too. I was thankful that someone saw me. I wasn't truly alone. Through the day today, I pulled out the chocolate bar and nibbled at a piece with gratitude for the gift.
Next weekend, the tree lighting will take place in the town. My daughter and I have never missed that event so I am hoping she will find a way to bundle up the baby enough to join me once again. Perhaps, I will be able to have my littles with me too. Do I get my hopes up? Do I dare to hope that I will see the excitement of my grandson? I hope that we can all be together to watch the tree light up.
I have a week to kick the Scrooge-like being aside. I have a week to shed the grey inside of me. I need to transmute the grey to become as joyful as the Christmas lights beaming through the night. I am willing to do so because my babies need excitement of the season. I have two littles in my life and this grandma thrives when I see them happy. My oldest grandbaby just loves the lights so Grandma Scrooge needs to get herself together. I can do it. I can pull myself out of the grey and begin to glow bright again. One week, I have one week to kick Ms. Scrooge aside.
About the Creator
Welcome to my world.
Welcome to my thoughts.
I am proud to be a Native American Elder born and raised in Northern Michigan. Thanks to my hard work I have a B.A. in Education and a Masters in Administration and Supervision in Education.