Yes, you read the year right, 2001. I was living on my own again (and have ever since) in Fort Wayne, IN after living with some friends from college for about a year and a half. The excellence of this Christmas for a number reasons brought me back to what may have been the worst Christmas, that being 2001.
I was having a lot of success that year after what had been rock bottom only a few years earlier. When I moved to Fort Wayne, I found out later my family had actually placed bets on how long I’d be there. The longest anyone gave me was about three months, but I proved them all wrong by a long shot and remained in Fort Wayne for 3 years. I had a great job, got my own place, bought FURNITURE, lots of kitchen equipment, and was ready to take on about anything. Only thing else I was wishing for was a girlfriend, and well, I got that too. It had been a long time since I had a girlfriend heading into the holidays, so for the first time I was going into the Christmas season in full stride. My biggest move of all was buying a (artificial) Christmas tree and all the decorations. I went all out one weekend and put everything up, and was looking forward to that magical Christmas of sharing it with someone in my own home with cookies, hot cocoa, presents; the works!
The vault in the back of mind holds a secret, and not a lot of the details anymore, but inevitably a life changing event happened which led to the breakup of the relationship that was going to complete my Christmas. There I sat alone in the glow of my Christmas wonderland completely broken. Christmas didn’t sit right with me since, and I even went has far as requesting no presents for Christmas, and that tree I bought that year never stood in my home again. I actually gave the tree to my sister who put that ghost of Christmas past in her living room for about 10 years. Last year they replaced it and asked me if I wanted it back. No, thanks.
Even though this year I still went through the post-holiday blues, this past Christmas was so full of excitement and expectations that it made me think about the long comeback its been to feel right about the holiday again. My family Christmas last week was the most joyous Christmas I’ve had since then. It made me ever so thankful that those I hold close are closer to me this year.
Maybe I’ve healed, and by next Christmas I’ll be ready to bring the joy back into my home again. We’ll see.