Please allow me to start this post by declaring my everlasting love for Christmas. Since I can remember myself, Christmas has been my most favourite time of the year. As a child, my parents made sure my siblings and I had the most magical time and we truly felt the magic. Even at my time as a young adult, I was one of the first persons to decorate their Christmas tree and the last one (not one of the last ones but THE last one!) to pack it away when Easter was around the corner. I might not buy gifts for my friends and family on their birthdays but I always buy gifts for Christmas not because I have to but because I feel like “giving” is an integral part of Christmas. And the first Christmas with my son, I made it my mission to take as many photos of him with as many Christmas trees as I could.
In my 30 years, I never felt the “Christmas blues” because I was fortunate enough to have a good life with all my loved ones with me and I was so grateful for that. So so grateful! I never took it for granted! Americans have Thanksgiving to feel extra grateful for what they have; for me, Christmas gives me this opportunity. Even though I was well aware of the existence of “Christmas blues” I was so thankful that I never felt them.
This year, after my miscarriage, I was sure I would feel them. I was dreading the moment. The “I will be pregnant at Christmas” memory with all the “what ifs” and the grief (yes I am still grieving even if you cannot tell by just seeing me) can be a terrible combination that leads with certainty to those “Christmas blues” and not their mild version. But something else happened.
Instead of feeling sad, I am feeling more grateful than ever before. Grateful for all the things and all the people I have. For all the moments I get to share with my loved ones, for all the gatherings we will have, for all the delicious food we will eat, for the chance to make this Christmas magical for my son, for having my son, for the current traditions we have and any new ones we might establish this year. For the fact that we have a beautiful house to live, clothes to keep our bodies warm and love, lots and lots of love, to keep our souls warm. Grateful for having our health. I have always been a strong believer that as long as we have our health, everything else is achievable with hard work. And the older I get, the stronger I believe it.
And then, another amazing feeling followed. Hopefulness. I felt more hopeful than ever. Hopeful for what the future will bring. A calm anticipation for the birth of baby Jesus and all the hope that comes with it. Hope for expanding our family. But most importantly, hope and determination to be a better person and mother every single day.
I do not think I “chose” to feel like this. Last Sunday, while decorating our Christmas tree, the blues tried to show their ugly face for the first time but I looked at our tree and fully comprehended the importance of the fact that we CAN decorate a tree as a family while listening to Christmas songs and the blues were immediately replaced by gratefulness and hopefulness. I see so many terrible things happening around the world, so many people and children suffering, that just made me appreciate even more what we have. We tend to compare ourselves with people that we think are more well-off than us when really, there are so many others that would do anything to be in our situation. We all struggle with something. We all have our ups and downs, our good days and not so good ones. We all have our problems that at the time might seem important and difficult to solve and sometimes they might really are but most of the times, we are lucky for all we have.
In all honesty, it is still November, and I am bit concerned if I will still feel like this in December when Christmas will get closer. But I will make a conscious effort to feel like this throughout the month and have as little slip ups as possible. I will go back to reading this post over and over again if needed. I will make a list with all my blessings no matter how small or given might seem. And I will feel grateful everyday.
Anthi Savva Radis
You can find out more about Anthi here