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Christmas Is For Who?

I have always loved Christmas. I don’t go crazy with decorating, but I like my tree and little trinkets here and there. I love to make my favorite cookies and share them with friends, family and whoever else. Christmas was always such a big thing for us growing up and I carried that over to my family. But last year, when the base of my old Christmas tree broke, I debated buying another one. I usually put my tree up early in December and begin my baking. But last year was different. There was no big baking blitz. No taking sweet Christmas cookies to the staff at the nursing home where my parents are. No being able to see them due to restrictions still in place at the time. No sharing with family and friends as everyone was still trying to get used to the new way of life. I was also still getting used to being an empty nester. With all the changes I had experienced, I felt slightly broken inside. Much like my tree. My immediate family would be here for Christmas, yes, but last year, it would only be for one day. With their time being split between work, life and other family. So, who was I decorating for? Me? I just didn’t feel up to it. Besides, Christmas is for who? I was no longer the little girl.

But is it not for me? Or the joy I always see in others? The smiley faces the twinkling lights shine on during this season? What about the special gifts we so desperately put ourselves in debt for every year. Then take another few months to catch up on? We just need to be smart with our spending but our precious gifts do put a smile on faces. But who was I celebrating for? Before anyone gets upset with me, reminding me that Christmas is also the birth of Jesus I didn’t forget. That part was still deep in my heart. I had taken out my little figurines in honour of the special day and the special person, given my own religious beliefs. I no doubt would take pride in choosing special gifts for the special people in my life. But the tree! Did I really need it? Yet as I looked at the space where my tree would usually be it felt naked. The few Christmas decorations I had around the house were just that, few. I actually started to miss decorating and singing along to Christmas carols. Something I’m sure many of us have done for ever!

I knew I had to snap out of whatever I was going through. It brought me back to a time, many years ago when one of my parents first fell ill. Putting up a tree was mentally too much that year. So, I took out the decorations myself, much to that parent’s upset, and together with my other parent, we put everything in place just as always. It eventually put a smile on everybody’s face. Of course, my reasons for not putting up my tree was different, but again I asked myself. What was the point? Was I going to go through all that decorating for one or two days? But a good friend knew what was going on and the changes in my life. She encouraged me to buy a real tree. A real tree I thought? Of course, I came up with every excuse. It’s going to be expensive one week before Christmas. Where was I going to find one that was small enough for me to handle on my own given my limitations. Something easy to carry and easy to dispose of. Oh, goodness, and I was going to have pine needles everywhere. I was sure of it. Yes, yes, easier to make pine tea, for those of us that drink it. Ha, ha, ha. But seriously. A real tree? I had never had one before. Was it really brown sugar you added in the water? And did I need special lights? What kind of apparatus could I come up with that I could keep it well fed and not drench my living room? Research, research, research! More work for myself which I wasn’t feeling.

But, as I went to the grocery store, preparing for Christmas day, wouldn’t you know it. A small little tree brushed up against me just before I entered the store. I caught it just in time before it hit the ground. It was already sitting in a little red tree stand. A worker saw it in my hands and thought I was going to buy it. I hesitated. It was slightly crooked, leaning over to one side. But maybe if I turned it around, it would not show. The other trees did not look as healthy. I didn’t have the means to cut the bottom, so how was I going to fix it? But the more I looked at it the more I realized that was the tree for me. It was perfect, in its imperfectness. Nature at its best. I brought it home and prettied it all up. I easily found something to sit it inside so I could feed it without a mess. I leveled the stand with cardboard. When I was done, it looked like a present sitting inside its box. I even followed some online tips that said to put a large enough garbage bag at the bottom, so all you had to do was lift it over the tree when you were done and Whala! The mess was inside the bag. Ok, it didn’t work so smoothly for me. But as I decorated it, I realized who Christmas was for. It was for me. It was for my religious beliefs and honouring a special someone. It was for all the little faces who wait for Santa to come around each year. Rich or poor, big gifts or little, sadly, maybe some nothing at all. But it is time spent with precious family. Good food. Any food works. Blessed times with loved ones. Precious times helping others who need your help or your time. Little miracles that bring out the best in many of us and we didn’t even realize how precious our time was to someone else.

I had been sulking feeling sorry for myself. It had not been for a long time, but it was there. The important thing was that I realized what was happening and with some cheering on of a good friend, got me out of my rut. Whether we celebrate Christmas or not, these times can be hard on some people. Loneliness, sadness, anger for various reasons. We all need to remember to be there for one another. It doesn’t matter if they believe differently . We are all made of the same cloth, I think. Christmas and beyond. Let’s remember to be kind to one another. Help when and where it’s needed if you can. Sometimes a small gesture can be huge.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays. May the spirit of the time bring good blessings to us all.

Sending love and light,

S. R. John

PS: for anyone that is in the surrounding Toronto area, I have some of my 'Ghost Detective The Magic Ruby', books on hand. If you are close enough, you can come and purchase a book from me. Contact me at my email : and if you are close enough you can get one sooner.

SR John is a Writer, Author and Life Coach. She offers various Writing services as well as Life Coaching services, dealing with caregivers looking after their loved ones. As a caregiver herself to several family members, she understands the importance of self-care when it comes to looking after ourselves during difficult times. She is the author of, ‘Bipolar Love Experiencing Mental Illness From The Other Side A Love Story’, ‘Bipolar Love Caring For The Caregiver 8 Simple Steps To Self-Care’, a book for caregivers, as well as a children’s fiction book, ‘Ghost Detective The Magic Ruby. You can check out her books on or visit her site at Her email address is also listed below.

Life Coach - Coaching the Caregiver - Supporting those that care for loved ones

Books: Bipolar Love Experiencing Mental Illness From The Other Side A Love Story (fiction)

Bipolar Love Caring For The Caregiver 8 Simple Steps To Self-Care (non-fiction)

Ghost Detective The Magic Ruby (fiction for young and old)

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