How To Change Sadness To Joy.
When I was a little girl, we did not celebrate Christmas much in our house. At Christmas, my siblings and I would receive an orange. A few Christmases we received a color book and some crayons. We felt rich when that happened. It wasn’t because our parents didn’t have money. The money was spent on Vodka and cigarettes.
There was one Christmas I have never forgotten. My dad was drinking at his favorite bar. Someone had given us a tree and some bubble lights. We carried it into the house and carefully put the bubble lights on. We threw a little tinsel on the tree. For three hours, I sat in front of that tree mesmerized by the lights. They were shaped like candles and were red, green, blue, and yellow. I never saw anything that looked so
Found on Pinterest on 12-18-15.
wonderful in my entire life. It was pure magic. My eyes snapped and I felt something inside me grow. It was joy.
We heard a step on the sidewalk and then heavy steps on the porch. My father walked into the house, saw the decorated tree, and cursed. He was furious someone had given us a tree. His face turned red and he swung his fists. Several of us landed across the room. He leaned down, cursed God, and cursed the tree. He grabbed it, went outside, tore the branches and lights off the tree, and crushed the bubble lights under his shoes. He came back into the house and screamed for us to go to bed. He told us there was never going to be a Christmas tree ever again in his house. We ran and got into bed with our clothes on. We could hear his fists strike my mother who was sleeping in the other room. He was making her pay for what we had done while she was sleeping off a drinking binge. Christmas was not a happy time for us while growing up.
When I married and had a child, I swore things would be different in our house, and they were. We decorated a fresh Christmas tree, put up a manger scene in the living room, went to a candlelight Church service, opened presents on Christmas morning, and my son and I cooked a big Christmas dinner. We played Christmas C.D.’s and we sang with the music. We laughed. We felt joy. Later, we would go out and look at the Christmas lights around the neighborhood.
To this day, I refuse to let the memory of my father destroying the tree ruin my future Christmases. I can decide myself how to celebrate the holidays. When Christmas rolls around, I enjoy the lights, play Christmas songs and sing along with them, and share good food with family and friends. I refuse to let darkness steal my joy.
I know others still struggle with the Holidays and I grieve that they hurt. If you get a chance, reach out and say something, do something to bring joy into their lives at this time of the year. You won’t regret doing so.