This Cuppa Cheer
For me, it's really the simple things in life. The smallest thing can turn my entire day around and I consider myself really lucky to see the world this way. This doesn't mean I don't adore HUGE gestures of the insanely rich kind as well. Shoot, if you wanna bestow upon me a swank downtown condo with a view, that'd make me super happy too, but the sight of the Christmas cups at Starbucks is my personal thrill for today.
The start of the holidays is bitter-sweet for me because I'm always wondering how it would feel if my mom were still here. Christmas was IT for my mom and she made each season incredible no matter how broke we were. My favourite memories as a kid are the ones that only made sense later on, when I was "let in" on the Santa secret. One year, Santa left me a note on the new kitchen set he had left me. I was stoked that the big elf had left ME a personally written note on my kitchen chalkboard. Now I wonder how I didn't recognize my mom's handwriting... Another year my mom helped me set out a snack for Santa before I went off to bed. I wanted to leave him milk (my mom wasn't a fan), but my mom thought Santa would prefer an icy class of Coca-Cola. If you knew my mom, you know that she loved a refreshing glass of coke. When she helped me pick out the sweets to leave Santa, she suggested that I save the cookies for myself and leave Santa some of the festive delights my Nanny had made for us. Coincidentally, my mom's faves. Good job Mama ;)
I miss my mom every single minute of every single day and I don't think that will ever change. Time doesn't lessen my sorrow, but the warmth I feel knowing my mom hasn't really left helps. I dream about her almost every night. For years, she was seldom a part of my dreams and in each of them I always knew she'd have to leave again. I cried through most of those ones. Now, it's like she's still here. I share parts of my day with her, talk to her about the people in my life, ask her about the boy, and there aren't nearly as many tears.
My dad spares no expense if he sees something he knows my mom would have loved. Charlie Brown was Mr. Christmas for my mom, so my dad buys up every ornament he can find with The Peanuts theme. We blast the soundtrack and watching my dad do his piano player impression with enthusiasm sort of lets me forget that mom isn't here.
The first time I watch A Charlie Brown Christmas each season, I cry because it was my mom's favourite and because I really wish I could still watch it with her. That movie reminds me of a simpler time when I wasn't consumed with career choices, bills, juggling a hectic schedule and trying to be a daughter, sister, pseudo-mom, friend, employee, romantic partner, cousin, granddaughter and more to all the important people in my life. As I grow and mature, I'm learning how to be Crystal and who she is to the people around her. Some of it may be tough, but with each day and the challenges it might bring I still find the happy stuff hidden and I always have a smile.