Merry Christmas!

Check it out, my laptop is epic:

So, I can actually say I got my Christmas spirit back a little bit this year. The ex-husband killed it, little by little, every one of the 7 Christmases we spent together. Last year was the worst, naturally. Heading into this year, you’d think it would have been brighter just not having him there to spoil the Christmas fun, but actually it wasn’t better at all. Now I was single and lonely, and my life was in shambles. I felt like a terrible Grinch, but I hated being Grinchy and so I was the big catch-22 of self loathing. Not fun at all.

My family and friends tried really hard to get me in to the spirit. My mom made me decorate the tree, go Black Friday shopping, hang Christmas lights, the whole nine yards. I started to suspect something was coming back when I wanted to help my roommate Brooke wrap her presents and I requested Christmas music to be playing in the background. (I did mention that the Prozac might have helped with that a bit too). I knew something was up when about 2 weeks before Christmas I suddenly wanted to buy my good friends MORE gifts than what I’d already gotten for them, when I wanted to find perfect little trinkets they’d adore. I knew when I got my cat a stocking that I was getting the bug:

But I think the nail in the coffin happened when I started receiving wonderful gifts from friends. I got a gift from a new friend and it touched me that she already cared about me enough to put it in wrapping. I got handmade gifts and thoughtful exercise gifts. I got running socks and Gu. But the final nail was from my wonderful friend, Erin. She and I have been online friends for years, and we met this July when she flew out to run a half marathon with me. At that time, she bought our matching tops:

And for Christmas, she sent me a new pink Nike top along with a photo of herself wearing one and a note that said, “So what do you think? Matching tops for May?”

My eyes filled with tears. How did I get such wonderful friends? How did I get so lucky to have people who care about me this much? And I was so grateful to be feeling the love of the season, the good part of it. Sure, the commercialism can still leave me cranky and the scars from my ex-husband’s hatred of Crhistmas and making me cry my way through the day will always be with me. But if I can feel the love of the season just a little bit each year, I think I’m going to be fine.

Today I had a nice Christmas morning with just my mom and my two brothers, and an afternoon where my grandparents and my brother’s girlfriend joined us. Sunday we will have round two, including my mom’s boyfriend (who is a 911 dispatcher and therefore works overnight shifts on holidays) and his three kids, their significant others, plus one of my friends. Plus the grandparents and brothers and girlfriends again. Plus five dogs.

I leave you with a photo of one of my favorite gifts from today, my huge, fuzzy, “plush” body pillow. (Though the long sleeved tech shirt my brother got me was a close second). But with this thing, who needs a husband to hog the bed?

Goodnight. 🙂

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