It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas Without You In This World

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It doesn’t feel like Christmas now that you’re gone.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas without an extra present placed under the tree, one clumsily wrapped with my unskilled hands and labeled with your nickname — the one that only we know.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas when I’m forced to hang all of the ornaments, even the ones with your name splattered across them, instead of handing them to you so you can pick your favorite spot on the tree.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas without watching you tear open the wrapping paper, swearing that I didn’t have to get you a present and that I shouldn’t have wasted the money, even though the look on your face tells me that you appreciate it more than any other gift you’ve been handed.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas without you asking me about my love life — about what my boyfriend bought me, or if I’m single at the time, when I’m going to finally find a boyfriend.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas without the scent of your cooking filling the house, spreading from the kitchen into the living room where everyone is chatting over the sounds of the yule log.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas without hearing your voice sing carols for an entire month leading up to the holiday, and then playing some irrelevant music — maybe Johnny Cash or even Eminem — on the twenty-fifth.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas without you referencing Santa and the reindeer, like I’m still young enough to believe in the magic, like I’m still a little girl.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas without you scrambling around, trying to make everyone happy — to make sure that everyone is having a fun holiday, even if that means you’re going to needlessly stress yourself out.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas without you trying to hug me, trying to snap pictures of me, trying to remember where you stored the gifts you bought me.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas when everyone is swapping their favorite holiday memories of you, but you’re not there to laugh along with us. You’re not there to defend yourself, to tell your side of the story, even though you were just there the other year to tell the same tale.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas when I’m bringing a bottle to my lips, trying to wipe away the past. To forget that things used to be different. To forget that I barely recognize my own family, because we’re so different without you.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas when I’m wondering if your ghost is in the room with us. If it’s senseless to miss you, because really, you’re right there. Right there. That you’re silently celebrating along with us.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas without every member of the family here — without you. And I don’t think it ever will again. TC mark

The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved.

You don’t have to solve your whole life tonight. You just have to show up and try. Focus on the most immediate thing in front of you. You’ll figure out the rest along the way.

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Holly is the author of Severe(d): A Creepy Poetry Collection. Follow Holly on Instagram or read more articles from Holly on Thought Catalog.