It was not until I was an adult that I started to appreciate Christmas.
The meaning was lost on me since that one Christmas Eve. I was about 9 when my parents had a bitter argument. It was my mom’s birthday, and she and my dad had a blowup. I had never witnessed them fight over anything, so the hostility I saw before me was jarring.
I remember the 8-ft tall Christmas tree all cheery and lit up, as the musical Christmas cards sent over by friends and relatives purred in the background. I cried out loud when I saw my mom walk toward the door, instinctively grabbing her left leg and getting dragged along the floor as I begged her to stay.
She didn’t, and that changed Christmas forever, or so I thought.
Many years later I met someone who loved everything Christmas. It was then that I realized Christmas isn’t about me or my unfortunate experience; it was about making other people (and animals) happy. When I started looking beyond myself and homed in on those I love, Christmas became my happy place once more.