There I’ve said it. I have a bad case of holiday envy.
Yes I have to confess, instead of working and being productive on all things “Diva”-ish, I have to come clean and let you know I have been cyber stalking these past few days.
I have seen Christmas tree decorating and chopping excursions, I’ve witnessed the likes of Sprinkles, Zippy and Mel the elf pulling shenanigans the likes I’ve never witnessed before. And then there are the clever crafters (you know who you are) that just continue to blow my mind with their talent. Oh and did I mention the cookie pics, new recipes and Christmas card photos that are leaving me feeling all nostalgic and sappy. It’s like my social media feed has exploded tinsel and sparkles.
I know, this envy thing is not a usual Judy thing really, but there it is right there for me to experience in all it’s glory…and yes I’ve got it bad…Over the last week I find myself longing for a houseful of children again and old traditions none of which jive with our military way of life. I know right…I warned you…
At first I thought it was yet another bi-product of our recent Empty nesting situation, and then when I started pulling at the strings it unraveled into “it’s the Army’s fault” moment. Cuz it’s easy to blame our uncomfortable feelings on our military life isn’t it? Truth be told it’s a combination of lots of things, and depending on the thought flitting through my brain one or the other takes a front seat.
I mean let’s be real here…I have issues both empty nest and military that need a little work if I’m ever to get all giddy for the holidays again…. For instance:
My empty nest “issues”: I’m missing the kids (ok they aren’t really kids anymore but they will always be MY kids no matter how old they are). It’s the little things like decorating, baking and cooking. I mean, decorating the tree was something we did as a family, laughing as we hid Alex’s silly, ugly Santa head that he has always loved. And baking cookies was something I did with Heather for hours on end watching her take the time to decorate them just so. We always had a full house of family and friends that had me yelling “don’t touch that” as I protected the precious holiday feasts from the countless “taster testers” sneaking in often throughout the month of December gatherings. And I’m only scratching the surface here…
My Military Life “issues”: Now these issues really can be combined into one whopping huge issue that is mostly about the distance from “home” (which I’ve talked about before). Holidays without lots of extended family and long time friends is tough for me, especially when it’s just my soldier and I at home. Sure we have friends we get together with, but there’s something to be said for the comfort, silliness and relaxed pace of a house full of relatives during the holidays. The worst part is that I hate that we are stationed so far away from our children. And while I understand that they can’t PCS with us each time we move I know that I have to share them with in-laws and accept that a new job means they can’t take off to come home for the holidays, I’m envious of our “past” life when we were all together for the entire holiday season.
I know I shouldn’t be, in fact I tried to fight it, I really did, but after a very mellow and different Thanksgiving , the holiday season launched, and I find myself longing for holidays gone by. You see this was the first year in 25 yrs. that my hubby and I didn’t host a large group of relatives, friends, soldiers or anyone else who needed a holiday home, and it didn’t feel like a holiday at all. And that’s what bothers me the most. I liked the holidays and don’t really want them to change at all…
You see I want little kids to dump sprinkles and sparkles all over my floor. I want broken ornaments caused by the kids or the dog chasing the cat up the tree and I want my brothers and sisters telling me last years turkey wasn’t nearly as good as this one. I want the chaos of too many people and not enough space, and the intensity of kids all over the house. I want my nieces twirling to show me their new church dress and my nephews begging me to spend the night so we can catch Santa together. And most of all I want to spend Christmas eve shopping with my dad for the perfect gift(s) for my mom.
But things change, and we must adapt, but today I just don’t know how.
Intellectually I get that both the empty nest thing and the military thing mean that I have to find new ways to love the holiday’s, but right now I really just want the issues not to be issues. I want to experience the holidays like I always have and I don’t want to change my “holiday routine” that worked for me for so many years.
It’s emotions fueling this feelings I get that, and I also know that eventually I’ll get a handle on it. But that day isn’t today, and until I can find my new way to embrace the holidays I may just have to allow a little “envy” to exist in my world…
~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and lifestyle blogger as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com