Thursday, November 16, 2006

Christmas and unfulfilled promises

I made someone a promise. Told him I'd help him appreciate Christmas. That after a holiday season with me he wouldn't hate the holiday anymore.

It was a promise I couldn't keep. One I wanted to, but the circumstances in his life were much stronger than anything I could offer. I wanted to think that I had the ability to make someone forget the bad that's happened to them. I don't. No one does.

So as this holiday season approaches, I consider life in general. Go figure. All the hot chocolate and Bing Crosby in the world wouldn't have helped the Christmas cheer of someone determined to be unhappy. I could tie him to a chair and force him to watch the Grinch, Charlie Brown's Christmas, a dozen versions of A Christmas Carol, Miracle on 49th street and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (not to mention Home Alone, the Santa Claus trilogy, etc) and it wouldn't have made a difference.

I wasn't what he wanted. He didn't want a holiday with a 30 year old divorcee with two cats and emotions running rampant. I know, I know. Bailey on her own should be incentive enough for anyone to crack a smile. And if she wants to hoard christmas ornaments in her own little hiding place, then one can only assume that she loves the holiday too. Or she's enamoured with shiny things. Could go either way.

I had plans. Lights. Ornaments. Stockings - by the fireplace, ya perve! No. Not on me. Sheesh.... hmmm wait, that mighta helped with the mood. Candy canes. Not only Bing singing White Christmas, but Bing singing and acting in the movie version. A little Christmas in Killarney. Decorating the tree together. Drinking hot chocolate. Christmas quilts. Christmas cards. Opening gifts by the fire.

Ok, fine. All of these things are my little romatisized version of the holiday and they don't make everyone happy. I had this stupid dream that just being with me and seeing how much it meant to me would do the same for other people. Yeah. It's stupid. Overly egotistical. How can my enjoyment of a holiday make anyone else feel anything?

Besides. He was determined to mope and feel sorry for himself. His path of self destruction and pain wasn't clear to me then. I thought I could fix the world. That a simple 4 letter word would fix everything. That I could fix everything by simply being. I know better now.

There are people bent on being unhappy. Being miserable. They get a rush out of being dramatic. Having bad things happen to them. Hurting earns them sympathy. They fear the reality of success and losing everything that they avoid seeking out their dreams. They stop midway because achieving something to only lose it later would be far more difficult than dropping everything midway and never being happy.

T said it well in her blog. Her description of her walls. Easier to stop the happiness and take a small hit than to know happiness and love and lose it.

So where do I go from here? Next week I'm on vacation. Planning to start getting ready for Christmas. Baking. Cleaning. Decorating. Finding myself a faux tree. That I've been reduced to fake trees in and of itself is a hard blow for me to take. But practicality sometimes does step in and smack me upside the head.

Last year, the day I took down my outside decorations was a day that changed my life for good or bad. It's the day I invited the person I wanted to show my Christmas to into my life. So much has changed since then.

At least I won't be disappointed when I couldn't fix his Christmas. I won't be hurt on my birthday. I'll have Christmas day with my family. But like the previous holidays, I'll wonder more about what I've lost or given up. Even with all that's happened, Christmas is still... Christmas. It still makes my heart melt, tears well up in my eyes. I'll watch Rudolph and Frosty and the Grinch. I'll believe in miracles and fairy tales.


At 12:07 PM , Blogger Greg said...

Wrong. So wrong.


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