Christmas was always my favorite holiday as a child. That changed when I was 10. I was taking a bath the day after Thanksgiving. I usually took long baths because I liked to read Archie comics when I was in the tub. I heard someone crying. More crying a few minutes later. I did not think anything unusual about it. My dad was a lawyer and sometimes had to meet clients at our home. I figured it was one of his clients. However, I was in for a big shock when I got out the tub and got dressed. I went to the Family room and realized that the crying came from my own mother.
My dad said, "You know how people sometimes drift apart?"
I started bawling my own eyes out. I was really close to my grandmother and thought dad was using a euphemism to tell me that she had passed away. I do not remember the next things that were said, but I eventually got the idea that dad was leaving and my parents were going to be separated. I was relieved to learn that my grandmother was still alive. I told each parent that I loved them.
Over the next few weeks, it began to dawn on me how serious marriage problems were. Each year, I made a huge wish list with the help of the Sears catalog. I knew what the deal with Santa was, but told my parents I still believed because he brought the best gifts. On Christmas Eve, as I laid in bed. I had forgotten to make a list! I was afraid that there would be nothing under the tree when I woke up. However, mom made sure Santa came.
That Christmas set the tone for years to come. My parents were together on and off during my middle school years. Dad finally left for good before my 14th birthday, The next few years were the subject of debates over who I would spend the holidays. I finally managed to get a girlfriend when I was 17. She dumped me on Christmas Day,
My dad died on December 19, 2002 when I was 21. His funeral was only two days before Christmas. My life fell apart around Christmas when I was 31 and lost everything. Then I was unemployed for several years and unable to buy Christmas presents.
Things began to change the year my son was born. I was unemployed when my son was born, but I somehow managed to get him a few things for his first Christmas. I was employed the following year and was able to buy gifts for almost everyone in my family. I was even able to load up on Christmas swag. It was the best Christmas since I was nine years old.
I already bought most of the gifts for my son. Tomorrow, I will proudly be watching the first Christmas movie of the year. Don't judge me.