And So This Is Christmas- Part Two

by Lori Dwyer on December 6, 2011 · 21 comments

It’s not as bad as I thought it would be.

The Lori from Before, she loved Christmas. I’ve never been a huge decorator, but I am a participator of the highest order- tree, tinsel, angels, carols, candy canes, charity drives, holiday parties, Christmas cooking. A little of everything.

I wasn’t sure how Lori in the After would deal with this constant, shiny reminder of what she’d lost.

I think it’s that separation that made it OK.

The first of December rolls around and this is it. This is a test, truly this time, and it feels like it… am I mother, or mouse? Do I let my own fear, the anticipation of that haunting ache… do I let that get in the way of my children having a Christmas, where they are both old enough to understand the magic of it?

No freaking way. I am mum. Hear me ho ho ho.

I bite the proverbial bullet on the very first day of December. The fear of something, the waiting… it’s always worse than the act itself.

I buy a small fibre optic tree, replacing the one I binned when I moved from the Purple House. When I say small, I mean it- it’s shorter than me. Because I am determined this is how Christmas will be this year- small. Inconsequential. I will only do what I must, for the kids.

When we get it home, the power adapter for our tiny tree is smashed to bits. And on returning it to the store, they only have mammoth, taller-than-Lori trees left.

I feel like poking my tongue out at the universe in general, my late husband in particular. Point taken. Christmas will be bigger than I am, whether I like that fact, or not.

And I find, as I put our tree, turn on our lights, deck our halls… I do like it. Still. Christmas hasn’t been ruined… at this point, with my children so excited, my little house looking so festive, Christmas is still beautiful. Christmas is still a bit magic.

This…. this is magic. The look on my son’s face when he watches a video online where Santa knows his name and where he lives, that’s magic. My daughter wiggling her tiny, cloth nappied bum to Bing Crosby singing Silver Bills… that’s magic. My house, quiet and tucked in, dark save for a lamp and that twinkling Christmas tree… that’s a bit magic too. It makes me ache for Tony, and there is little magic there…. but just knowing there can still be such pretty things, such hope as Christmas, I can find enchantment in that.

I finish decorating our lounge room, and there is tinsel left over. Just one more, I think… one strand of tinsel, wrapped outside on our front stoop.

One becomes two, becomes three, becomes five. And I realise I’m enjoying myself… this doesn’t hurt, not like I thought it would.

So far, so good.

Merry Christmas and a very happy holidays and festive season, jellybeans.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Livi December 13, 2011 at 7:01 am

Merry Christmas lovely. You're doing amazingly!


Canadian In Glasgow December 8, 2011 at 12:16 am

This year, I'm faking it until it feels real.

It comes and goes for me…I go back and forth between hating and loving it.

At the end of the day…as long as there are smiles and some happiness then it's worth whatever effort is put forth.



Rhonda December 7, 2011 at 3:27 am

You are doing great.


Melissa December 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm

I have to admit, I am totally going to utilize "I am mum, hear me Ho Ho Ho" frequently in the next few weeks.
I'm so happy you are finding some joy. I hope it sticks with you.
Lots of love.


Julie December 6, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Lori – you're just gorgeous!
Merry Christmas to your and your precious cherubs.
Julie xox


Amy xxoo December 6, 2011 at 8:19 pm

That " Hear me ho ho ho! " bit made me cack my daks a bit…
And, on another note – a merry xmas to you and your cherubs too!


Anonymous December 6, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Go, Lori!

As you so well know yourself, follow your heart…

However your Xmas turns out (no one's Xmas is ever totally perfect!), I so know that you're the one to stare it down.

You go, girl.
Paula. xo.


MummyK December 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Thinking of you and your family this time of the year, and may your new year be blessed with great gifts.


Something Gorgeous December 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Good on you. I also have to struggle at Christmas time and mostly find myself 'faking' Christmas Cheer. But, like you, I do it for my children….there is no choice.
T from Something Gorgeous


Donna December 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm

The universe was definitely telling you something there – glad you get to lsoe yourself in the beauty of the spirit of Christmas (and PS my son will be wearing that exact same shirt on Xmas day!)


Miss Pink December 6, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I am glad Christmas isn't awful for you. Things will be different, but I don't want everything to have that stinging pain for you. I want you to be able to smile, truely and deeply from within yourself.
I think Tony saw that you needed this larger than life Christmas. He's trying to cheer you up.


ameliahunter December 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm

"I am Mum, Hear me Ho Ho Ho!!!" Genius! – I love it that, even though it's scary you are finding the gentle joys of life are still there for you. xxoo


ameliahunter December 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm

"I am Mum, Hear me Ho Ho Ho!!!" Genius! – I love it that, even though it's scary you are finding the gentle joys of life are still there for you. xxoo


Just Me December 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm

It's wonderful to hear that you are doing well with this holiday season. My first Christmas after my husband passed was only a few weeks away and I pretty much did nothing but cry over everything.
I tried to make everything the way it had been for the kids for years but realized quickly it would never be the same…you just have to adapt, be strong and do what feels best.
It will be our 3rd Christmas without him this year and we are trying all new things. There's nothing wrong with it at all.
Your strength gives me strength, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your children!!!


Sarah December 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I love that Christmas is bigger than you, I love that it hasn't been spoiled.


Callie @ December 6, 2011 at 11:59 am

In my agnostic point of view, I believe there was a reason as to why things didn't work out with that little tree. It's like the universe's way of pushing you forward. Of telling you that what you and your family really need right now is not a small inconsequential Christmas but a big bright bold one. Throw yourself into it – aim to make it the most memorable Christmas you've ever had. It doesn't need to be expensive – draw up Christmas stencils and help the kids to create their own decorations, cover the walls in them, have a Christmas Day picnic at a park with nothing more than fairy bread if need be – it doesn't matter. It will be magic to the kids (and yourself!) nonetheless. Just make it big in your heart and maybe another big step towards healing will have been made because of it. :)


E. December 6, 2011 at 11:57 am

I'm very glad that you are enjoying Christmas so far and that the magic is still there.


Rin December 6, 2011 at 11:30 am

Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful little children Lori xxx


Rosie December 6, 2011 at 9:19 am

Beautiful post! Christmas has stolen you. I'm glad. I hope there are so many more happy surprises waiting for you. You deserve a very happy Christmas. Peace on earth :)


Stacey December 6, 2011 at 8:43 am

"I am mum. Hear me ho ho ho"

Merry Christmas to you and your little ones Lori. I'm glad you have found a little magic in the season.


Bec @ Bad Mummy December 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm

I want to say that I'm proud of you, but that doesn't feel right because you're your own woman and I don't even really know you, but I am proud of you regardless and I hope you're proud of you.


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