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How is it that a holiday beautifully wrapped in tradition can look entirely different from years past?

How is it that I can even succumb to the vicious heart of Ebeneezer Scrooge?

Ask my family about normal Julie behavior over the Christmas season. As a rule, I’m forcing the Christmas Joy on almost everyone. My soul is lit up, I’m embracing excitement and the childlike joy is glowing out of pores due to the fact I’m entirely sprinkled in magic. Somehow this year, I can’t find the magic.

Trust me, I’ve looked.

I’ve looked in the cupboard, I’ve looked in Purdy’s boxes, I’ve looked at the mall, I’ve looked at Costco, I’ve looked at the bottom of countless mocktails….but no magic.

There is no amount of food, chocolate, shopping, strangers, or non- alcoholic drinks that will help. I’m at a loss.

The Christmas I created in years past had one other significant thing. Another person in it.

Even though I chose this, the absence of sharing the season is really hard. The giddiness of spoiling another person you love with surprises coupled with the anticipation of what they did for you is not greed. It’s actually one of my love languages, if not my main one.

I show love through gifts and quality time.

The acts of love a woman puts into the holidays is a treasured amount. From the food, to the décor, to the tradition keeping, all of it is LOVE…LOVE….LOVE! Another piece missing is the accolades given by the adoring spouse on another job well done. “You created a magical Christmas Baby”…Is something I crave to hear. Don’t worry, I see the work I need to do on that.

The question is, why do I allow it to all just fall on me? I’ve designed a lovely Christmas tornado of resentment and quite frankly, I’m bringing the whole world into it with me.

Behind the ribbons and the bows is a brokenness that simply can’t be faked this year. No amount of tape will hole these tears togethers. My option is really only this.

Feel it and let it go.

Be in the winds of the tornado and let it die down….create no more destruction. The calm after the storm will be my goal.

Perhaps this is where I’ll find the Christmas Spirit. In the quiet when no more needs to be done In the present moment while holding my adult children in the space I created for them. It’ll be in the joy in their faces as they eat, laugh and tear into their gifts.

I haven’t drank, although painfully close. I still don’t plan to.

It’s the morning of Christmas Eve with glistening snow in copious amounts. I just have to get through this one. The first single Christmas in over a decade. Acceptance is key…Christmas just looks different this year.

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