Getting Over Holiday Blues: "The Noel Shoe"

I turn away after putting up the last ornament. My eyes are tearing up and I don’t want Sergio to notice me. “Is everything OK, boo?” he asks. “Yes, I’m fine,” I respond, choking back a sob. But I can’t contain it anymore - I’ve been holding back the tears the entire time we’ve been decorating the Christmas tree.

I run into the bathroom, shut the door, turn on the faucet, and begin to cry silently. I thought I was over this...why are these feelings coming back??

Suddenly, I hear a knock on the door. Ugh, Fran, get it together! I tell myself as I splash my face with water. I hear Sergio’s concerned voice on the other side of the door. “Baby...can I come in?” I don’t respond. Somehow, he thinks that’s his cue to come in (really?!).

“What’s going on here?” he asks. He notices that I’ve been crying.

“Nothing is wrong, babe,” I respond with a knot in my voice. I clear my throat.

“Fran, I really don’t want to ask you a million times. Please tell me what’s going on.”

I let out a deep sigh… “I'm just not the biggest fan of this time of year...too many memories that just get me down and cranky.”

“Talk to me. I’m listening…”

“Well, first off, it’s my dad’s birthday and he’s not here. My sisters aren’t around as much. My mom always has to work for the holidays. I just feel like no one…” By this time, I can’t even understand the words coming out of my mouth because I’m bawling so hard.

Sergio leans in to give me a kiss on my forehead and pulls me into a tight embrace as I shamelessly sob into his shirt. He says sternly, “I’m here...your friends are here. You’re loved, Fran. I will not let you think for a second that no one cares and that you’re alone.”

There is so much power and security in his voice that, for a moment, I think someone has shaken me out of my momentary misery. I let out deep sighs…

He takes a step back and continues, “You have so much to be thankful for. Look around you! You’re blessed with a home, a job, your family - regardless of how often you see them; your church family, your health; your Heavenly Father, who’s the best Father you could ever ask for. And not to mention, you have ME and all these presents I got you!” I break out into laughter. I don’t know why I find the comment so funny, but seeing him there with his arms wide open takes away all my worries right now.

“You’re right. I am beyond blessed and shouldn’t be complaining. Daddy up above has been good to me - especially by giving me you! You’re my favorite Christmas gift!!”

For some people, Christmas is an amazing time of year to share with family and friends. But for others, it’s a time that brings around memories of loved ones who are no longer around, memories of broken relationships that used to enjoy this time of year, traditions that are no longer practiced, and the list goes on…

As you can see, this time of year for me is very difficult - honestly, the most difficult one all year. When we focus on good-old memories (or try to piece together the bits of memory we have), we tend to miss them, and something about our present state is not good enough. This can really distract us from appreciating all the good things we currently have around us, like our friends, other loved ones, our health, and above all, LIFE - a chance to breathe, live, laugh, and create new, amazing memories to cherish for a lifetime!

During the rush of this holiday season (and all the cranky attitudes in the malls, on the roads, and just about anywhere!), I urge you to slow down a bit. Look around you and focus on all the good things in life right now...take a deep breath in and live in the moment. Be kinder to people because you don’t know what this time of year means to them. Show a little more compassion to people in need. Give away more smiles to the people who pass you by; it doesn’t cost you anything. And most of all, to all the people you cherish that are still around, love more, hug more, kiss more, and laugh more with them. Time is of the essence and the more time you spend creating positive memories, the less time you’ll have for holiday blues :)

Have a Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year, my loves! Xoxo

Each post is named after a pair of "fictitious" (for now) shoes. For this post, I chose the name "Noel," which means “Christmas.”