Christmas has seemed a little different to me this year. I have had problems getting into the spirit this year. I have been trying to contemplate as to why? It is not usually difficult for me to be able to pop up each day and be excited for everything Christmas. It does not matter if the only thing doing is putting up one ornament or going to look at Christmas lights, or even watching the piss poor Star Wars Holiday Special, I am ready for it. However, this year, it seems difficult for me to find my footing. Which is really weird, because this should be one of the happiest times of my life. Do not get me wrong, the day I got married has been the best day ever, but I still feel something is missing from my life. I have been battling some kind of illness recently, I am not sure exactly what it is. What I do know is that on certain night you may be able to fry an egg on my forehead. One of these night that I found myself in bed before midnight, I was watching classic WCW. Yes, wrestling because it is my go to thing when I am sick. And it hit me. I am home sick.

The holidays do something weird to the emotions. It likes to play with the heart strings as if they are a fiddle in the middle of a Charlie Daniel’s concert. And that is exactly what is happening this year. I am not sure that I will ever get over the loss of my parents. It sounds weird, but there are just days that the first thing that will creep in the mind is how much I am missing them. And it’s weird, because my Dad passed in 1997 and Mother in 2013. Also, should put in there the thought that these were actually my grandparents. They were the ones who raised me in my heart, I was lucky enough to be blessed with another set of parents. Did I think when I was 12 that would be the last Christmas that I would open gifts from both of my parents? Did I think this would be one of the last times I would get to play basketball with my dad, or have a full family meal complete with dressing and pumpkin pie? No, because I was 12. I don’t believe that something a 12-year-old will immediately think of is the thought of their parents passing. Even 28-year-old me couldn’t full grasp the thought of my mom passing even though that is something I had been bracing myself for years due to the decline of her health.

So why is this getting to me all of a sudden? I am 32 and a newlywed. You would think this would be something that would not even cross the mind let alone the heart. I haven’t really talked about what has been going on with me emotionally for the past couple of years, and this is the first time in a while that I am opening my heart. I found my happiness after they were gone which took a lot of searching, and going through some of the weirdest things that a man can go through. The big day came, and the one thing missing was them being there. I could honestly see my dad showing up in a button up shirt that had stripes running up and down the shirt. The kinds that you will find in the clearance section of Wal-Mart and that damn Auto-Shack hat. Remember when it was called Auto Shack and not Auto Zone, I don’t either. And my mom and her 80-pound self would show up wearing sneakers and some sort of pink shirt. I don’t think I would expect anything different. I was a little sad that day that they were not there to be part of it as I hoped way back when I was 12. Thanksgiving came and I made sure to watch the parade with my wife in hoping to start the tradition back up with the woman I am going to spend the rest of my life with. But right now, I really wish they were here. Not because I want to see them but because I want the two of them to meet her. I know these feelings will fade. It is part of life. Until then, I will always have the memories to share with the people I love.

For me Christmas will never be just about the presents under the tree, because over time those will just fade away. Christmas will never just be about the food, even though you can never go wrong with pie or fudge. For me Christmas will always be about the time spent with your friends and family. While you are sitting around the Christmas table with the people you love, remember something please. While the people in your life may piss you off because chances that has happened, these people you may not agree with all the time, remember back to yourself as a child. Think about what Christmas would be without these people being there. Christmas is more than just any other day. Christmas is about love, life, laughter, crying, and even some crazy. Christmas is everyday all wrapped up into one. And next Christmas the people you cherish most may not be there. It’s time to let go of the petty feuds and bickering, and remember what this holiday means to a lot of people. And if that doesn’t work, Booze is always a good solution.