The Other Side of Christmas

Part of what makes Christmas hard for me is that I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time being a kid. So when I try to look at Christmas through a child’s eyes, it’s hard. My dad died when I was young, and I realize now that it sort of forced me to view life from a different perspective. I started hardening up at the age of 12.

Here’s what I wrote Christmas Day in 1992, the year my father died. We went to Disney World that year so as not to have to spend that first Christmas at home. I remember a friend of my mom’s had sent us a small balsam fir to our hotel room and we decorated it with paper cutouts of Mickey Mouse that we’d gotten in the hotel restaurant. I never expected anything to show up under the tree.

My mom and my brother were fighting, as had become the norm since my dad died at the beginning of the year.

I was 13 and I still believed in Santa Claus, though it would only be a week or so later that I would find out the truth. I realize now, at 27, how hard the whole thing must have been for my mom. And why it’s still hard now, 14 years later, for all three of us.

December 25, 1992
This morning when I woke up I didn’t want to get up because it was Christmas. But when I was finally jolted out of bed this morning, I was in for major surprise. Santa Claus came after all. He said I could have a puppet and one other thing and Rob could have a sword from Eurospain at the Marketplace. Mom got an outfit from this boutique by the Watercress Cafe. But we didn’t actually get that stuff, we just got a note saying we could get it. But the “V” bus never came, so Rob’s in a pretty bad mood. Rob says he’s sick of fighting with Mom, but he doesn’t stop. Neither does Mom. They’re perfect for each other.

He’s finished his speech. Clap, clap, hooray. Great job.

It was awful. He was just making Mom angrier. Actually, I dont even think Mom cared what Rob thought. Rob’s still going, always has beeing going, and probably will never stop going.

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