Christmas is ten days away. I've done a lot of the Christmas prerequisites, but it's all been done by formula; I'm simply not able to get myself into a Christmas frame of mind this year. Listening to favorite songs has helped me to remember wonderful Christmases past, but I still alternate between feeling empty and feeling sad when I think of this Christmas.
I know how much the holiday meant to Mom and Dad, and I'm trying to invoke their enthusiasm in order to make the holiday season memorable, but I'm not having much success at it. The tree is up, there are a few decorations placed through the house, I've wrapped a dozen or so presents, and I'm hoping that every one of those recipients has more joy this holiday than I'm having.
I've found three presents that I had bought for Dad and had forgotten about; for the last five or six months before Dad's stroke, I had largely quit buying presents for a future holiday and had instead given Dad every gift as I found them, hoping it would add a touch of happiness to his life. However, apparently I couldn't get out of the Christmas habit entirely, because these gifts were ones that I had indeed purchased during those months. None of them were major gifts, but each of them were things that might have meant something to Dad--a family in-joke, a personal memory, that sort of thing. Seeing them now makes me feel immeasurably sad and lonely.