The holidays are an intimate occasion, which can bring joy and connection to most, but at times, laced with stress and/or loneliness. Norman Rockwell is known for painting ideal pictures of the family and from those images the famous phrase, “my family is no Rockwell painting” was generated. There are some of us who grew up in less than ideal environments, don’t have a partner or family in present time so it can be a bittersweet time of year. As someone who has a severe case of sentimentality and sensitivity, I don’t always find the holidays an easy time and have fantasized the Norman Rockwell version ever since I was a small girl…as naively idealistic as that may be. We create holiday spirit where we can or as our own personal vision sees it to be, which might be far from Rockwell’s portrayal.
My mother passed away when I was a toddler, and my dad died at Thanksgiving on the morning of his birthday when he turned 57. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted a family of my own — irresistible husband, kids, animals…a flock. I have forever been a person with so much love to give and a yearning to have a child where I would give love my mother never had the chance to give me because she left us so young. I had the intuition that it would complete a circle where a break in that circle could be filled. I didn’t have children but that’s a whole other story. Life brings us alternate paths and endless stories to tell.
As a creator, creativity keeps me engaged in life — Giving birth to some form of art is as necessary as breathing. And as a seeker of beauty, I notice the miraculous all around me on a daily basis. It’s a savior. Growing up on an island, I discovered my mermaid essence and you’d find me in the ocean warm enough on Christmas day lifting my holiday spirit. I find this time of year to be romantic, and as a hopeless romantic, the season inspires not only sentimentality, but passion and sensual beauty as shown in this photo of a deep red Christmas Amaryllis that looks as though it’s made of velvet.
This year I attended some lovely Christmas gatherings, which included a legendary annual Christmas party in the hills of Santa Barbara on the 23rd of December and I decided this occasion was to be my Christmas. The Mediterranean house was beautifully decorated, a banquet table held scrumptious food, talented entertainment performed, and we all joined a carol sing-along. There were nearly 200 people and a house full of so many can be overwhelming for an outsider. I do love to sing and all the voices (including mine in full volume) brought us closer together.
I’m so grateful for the close friends (mostly out-of-state) I have that were all in contact with me. There was only one person I didn’t hear from and it hurt. I had to take pause, and acknowledge that it was Christmas day and therefor, hurt impact was stronger. I spent the early morning on calls or in Christmas blessing texts before I decided I just had to get out of the house. I escaped into the movie theater where I spent the afternoon viewing “Little Women” and then, “Bombshell”. Like going to the ballet or being by the ocean, a good movie is a wonderful escape and I’m a firm believer in healthy and life-affirming escapes.
I’m also a believer in being authentic and to be true to oneself. We feel what we feel and we ought to be free to express whatever that may be. May I suggest that if you know people who are possibly without a partner and/or family on the holidays, contact them and let him or her know that they are in your thoughts. Trust me, expressing love and sincere care for someone can brighten a lonely day more than you can imagine. It’ll paint a unique and individualized Rockwell memory.