If you were still alive this Christmas, maybe I would be more excited for the holidays. Maybe I would be counting down the days until Santa arrived like when I was a little kid. Maybe this time of year would still feel special.
Instead, there’s a part of me that wants the season to be over. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to listen to cheerful songs on repeat or watch yet another movie about how family is the most important thing in the world. There’s a part of me that wants to skip over the holidays, because without you, there’s not much to celebrate.
If you were still alive this Christmas, maybe our smiles would be authentic. Instead, our smiles are a show. They’re a way to prove we’re okay. More than that, they’re a way to reassure everybody else that things are going to be okay. That we’re fine and they should be fine and everything is fine, fine, fine.
If you were still alive this Christmas, maybe our celebrations would be a little bit louder. Maybe the music would be turned up higher so we could dance, not so we could avoid conversations. Maybe we would drink to celebrate, not to forget.
If you were still alive this Christmas, maybe everyone would have a little more holiday spirit. Maybe wouldn’t be so cynical. Maybe we wouldn’t be thinking about how much things change (for the worst) as we grow older. Maybe we wouldn’t be wondering how the holidays used to be a source of excitement and now are mostly a disappointment. A reason to get upset. A reason to long for the past.
If you were still alive this Christmas, maybe the whole family would still get together. Maybe, instead of texting each other to say Merry Christmas and then going on with our lives, we would still be gathering together in the same small house, crammed together to keep warm.
If you were still alive this Christmas, maybe there would still be magic in the air. Maybe there would be hope in our hearts. Maybe we would be more optimistic about what the new year has in store for us instead of assuming there’s no way this new year could be any good because you’re not going to be a part of it.
If you were still alive this Christmas, maybe things wouldn’t be all that different from when we were younger. Maybe we would be excited to decorate the tree and swap presents and sip cocoa. But maybe we can still celebrate without you. Maybe we can make new traditions. Maybe we can miss the past while enjoying the present. Maybe having a good time on the holidays doesn’t mean we’ve stopped caring about you. Maybe we can miss you by telling funny stories about you and looking at old pictures of you and smiling while thinking about you. Maybe Christmas can still be Christmas, even if it doesn’t feel exactly the same without you here.