Between 20 and 25 December each year, I turn into a 6 year-old girl. But a happy 6 year-old girl, not the one I used to be.

I no longer hold my breath for hours on end, nervously waiting to see if my dad will drink too much and if my mom will descend into a hole of anger, humiliation and self-pity. No finely positioned insults by extended family who we only got to see once a year but who would magically know every little thing that goes on in my life, especially those things I wish didn’t go on in my life.

My parents – who I should mention found their ways in life nearer to the end of their lives – are no longer with me. My extended family…are alive but no longer with me.

These days my Christmases are simple. I have ridiculously extravagant eating sessions with my heart-friends…the same group of clowns who are caring for me during my time with a shattered ankle. These ‘eating sessions’ usually result in nausea, regrets and self-loathing. Which usually results in me going home and napping hard. I mean hard. Which usually results in coffee or cocktails later with the same friends. Which usually results in picking up the eating pretty much where we left off earlier…

Now that Christmas brings me joy, I feel unashamed child-like enthusiasm for the holiday. I love the Christmas songs. I love the oftentimes ludicrous Christmas movies. I love the decorations. I love all of it.

As a Believer, I should always have felt enthusiasm for Christmas because Christmas represents LOVE, the purest, hardest kind. But for me, it never did. A large, heavy hole settled in my tummy and stayed there until all family had departed on their paths home.

Now my Christmases are almost never spent with family. And I’ve had a few alone-Christmases. But they are all wonderful. They are large-and-heavy-hole-free and they are joyous and loving and filled with too much food. Not everyone is meant to celebrate big-ass, snowy days surrounded by loving, hugging family. And that’s okay.

With decorations and gifts and sensational meals we tend to dress up Christmas and we tell ourselves it’s for the kids. Maybe that’s true, I don’t know. But for me, Christmas dressed down, just me, my peeps, my God, my peace of mind and an unhealthy amount of festive season movies and songs…it’s a pretty beautiful thing.

Anyway…before I get another chococino, let me say, sincerely, I wish you, dear reader, a peaceful and HAPPY Christmas time…in whatever fashion you choose to celebrate it. And if you choose not to celebrate it, may you experience peace and happiness nonetheless.

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