Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Please Don't Spend Christmas Eve Alone...

Growing up, we'd spend Christmas Eve with my father's side of the family. His side of the family is big. It was a huge and much-anticipated event. Everyone went all out from the food and cocktails to the gifts and goodies. Nothing was spared. It was an evening of fun and food and spending time with my cousins. All of the adults were in good spirits and overall, it was a time to relax, celebrate, and put "life" on hold for a day.

On Christmas Day, we'd travel to Massachusettes to spend the day with my Mother's side of the family. Her family is very small. The celebration with her side of the family was the complete opposite of Christmas Eve festivities. Christmas day was simple, quiet, down to earth, and we had the same scrumptious food spread year after year.

Year after year, I looked forward to both celebrations...

When I was 18, I found myself spending both days completely alone. To make a long story short, at this time in my life, I was renting a room from a woman who owned a small house. It was a 3 bedroom home. She had 2 older kids. One lived at home and rented a room. The other moved away. In order to make ends meet, she rented out what used to be her son's room.

I was on my own, not by choice, and between going to school and working, renting a room was my only option.

The woman who owned the house and her daughter went away for a week during the Christmas holiday. I was there alone.

I worked part of the day on both Christmas Eve and Christmas but was home by mid-afternoon.

On Christmas Eve, I sat on the front stairs. The house was located in a gorgeous part of town. There was snow on the ground. We had sporadic snow flurries that afternoon and evening. Nothing that put a damper on Christmas traveling.

I sat on the front steps. Most of the houses were decorated with lights. The street was crowded with a lot of cars. Most of the houses appeared to be hosting some sort of Christmas Eve festivities. I watched cars pull up in front of houses. People, old and young, got out of the cars with armloads of gifts and platters of food and sweets.

Some of the houses had their blinds and shades up so I was able to glance at the gatherings being held inside.

I was alone.

Completely alone.

I had no place to go for Christmas Eve or Christmas.

I sat there and cried.

I knew my father's side of the family was gathered for their annual big Christmas Eve party. I wasn't invited that year because of recent events.

I just sat there.

I can't even begin to describe how lonely it felt.

There I was watching people get out of the cars. Dressed up. Balancing gifts in their arms. Running back to the car for party platters and bottles of wine.

I could hear the festivities when people opened their doors to let more guests in.

I'll never forget what that felt like.

That's why since 2012, we've opened our home on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. And, I post it on Facebook. I want people to know that they don't have to spend any of these holidays alone.

Christmas Eve is less than a week away. Please. Please. PLEASE. Do not spend it alone. We'll be making a HUGE Christmas Eve feast to share with our friends and you're more than welcomed to join us. Festivities start at 2. Dinner will be at 3. If you have no place to go or have fallen on hard times, please don't hesitate to join us. No questions asked. Our home is a Judgement Free Zone. All I ask is that you send me a private message to let me know you'll be joining us.

We will do this every year.

I don't want anyone to feel what I felt on Christmas Eve and Christmas when I was 18.

No comments:

Post a Comment