My mother died from ovarian cancer the week before Thanksgiving in 2009. Needless to say, that was the darkest holiday season of my life. My family barely acknowledged the holidays that year. I was so close to my mom and every tradition we had was started by her, so not having her around was heartbreaking.
I had no desire to decorate my house after she died. I didn't put up a tree. I didn't even hang a wreath on the door. Nothing. With each passing year, I debated getting back into the "Christmas spirit"...but never did. Then on October 25th, 2013...everything changed. My son was born. Two months later, my husband and I put up a tree. We dusted off the ornaments that had been in storage for five years and I even bought new ones.
The best part? I wasn't just "going through the motions." I legitimately ENJOYED decorating the house again. Donato was barely two months old, yet I knew he'd look at photos someday and I wanted him to know that we were excited about the holidays. I wanted him to know that decorating the day after Thanksgiving was a tradition. I wanted a picture of me holding him in front of the tree. I wanted ALL of it!
I'm SO THANKFUL for Donato. I love this time of year again. He makes me giddy with excitement for Christmas and Santa.
I know some of you may be feeling down this time of year because you've lost a loved one too. I get it. It's hard. And social media doesn't make it easier. You see all your friends posting their decorations and sharing their traditions online while your heart is heavy. It's not fun...and you wonder if you'll ever enjoy this time of year again. I pray you will. Trust me...it's magical. I never thought I'd feel this way again...and it's a gift my heart doesn't take for granted. I wish the same for your heart.