Saturday, November 27, 2010

Different Christmas Traditions

Today I bought a Christmas tree for DJ's grave, I picked out some ornaments that made me think of DJ. I bought gingerbread letters that spelled out his initials-D and J. I bought a chocolate looking Santa ornament because he absolutely loved chocolate. Today sucked.

It did however remind me that after you lose a child, old traditions go away and different ones come about. I don't say new traditions because "new" means something exciting, something that someone wants. This change to my traditions I never wanted, they were thrust upon me because the old ones were just too painful to continue.

I now put our Christmas tree up as late as I possibly can, if I didn't have children at home I probably wouldn't put one up at all. We now put our Christmas tree in a completely different room. It is too painful to remember seeing DJ in his red boxers digging under the Christmas tree in the living room looking for gifts. It has to be somewhere that I do not see him over and over again in my memory.

Every year I would buy the kids their own ornaments and then they had their own tree to put up and decorate. Up until this year (the fourth since DJ's been gone) I have always bought all three kids an ornament but this year I only bought Em and Jake one. I saw no sense in buying DJ one. That sucks too.

We now celebrate Christmas on Christmas eve, eve. I tell people who don't really care that we do it because then you can take gifts back with no lines on Christmas Eve-and that we get to just relax on Christmas Day-little stress that way. The truth is that I cannot wait for Christmas to be over and this way it gets shortened up--celebrate it early and be done early.

People I have interviewed do many different traditions now as well--many families go out of town altogether during the holiday season--they just don't want to be home! People go to other family's homes, again leaving their house completely. People get rid of all their old ornaments and buy new ones--no memories attached to the newest tree. Some don't put up any trees or some go the other way and decorate like crazy so they can fall asleep in exhaustion during the holidays.

I have different traditions now, are they better? No. Are they worse? Yes because I have them because I have lost a child. I would much rather have the old traditions and my son. I wish my tree and my son were both in my living room.

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