When I drove into the church parking lot, I had to laugh out loud. There were literally two back-to-back signs: The one pointing left said "Church Christmas Craft Show"; the one pointing right said "Surviving the Holidays." Now honestly: which one would YOU choose?
So, I took a quick left (Kidding: I totally just ran over the sign.)
I went to the right and found the Survival classroom. Grabbed some coffee, fresh fruit and pumpkin bread on the way to my table. And then loaded up on Kleenex because my eyes started leaking even before the session began.
To my surprise, all the tables were full. It was a big crowd and it was apparent that we all were in the right room and not looking for Christmas Crafts. The format was to watch a DVD and then break into group discussions. Everyone at my table agreed that they would not be putting up any Christmas decorations or trees, and almost everyone is leaving town.
Honestly? I had never understood people who dreaded the holidays after a loss. I thought I'd still be the hostess who throws the door open and announces each Christmas, "Let the celebration begin!" The closer the holidays get, the more I agree with the woman who stated she would like to just go to sleep the day before Thanksgiving and wake up on January 2. Sounds like a plan. Just not a realistic one.
But, as the advice continued: a plan was needed. I'm conferring with Married Daughter and Young Son. The plan is he will drive with me to Missouri and spend Christmas with Married Daughter and her sweet husband. We'll stay about a week and I'll drop him off for New Year's at his girl friend's parents' house near Dallas on the way back, so they can welcome the New Year together. (The best news? Since Married Daughter's husband has taken a promotion which will move them to Pennsylvania after the first of the year, her last day at work will be a few days before we arrive at her home. We'll have her all to ourselves, and will not have to share her with her employer.) We are still fleshing out the details, but the KNOWING seems to help the DREADING die down a bit.
Thanksgiving will be at Loyal Sister's house and I'm in charge of some side dishes. I can do that, I think.
Hoping that this year will be "survive"and next year's holidays can be "thrive".