The Best Christmas Present Ever-One year later…

The Best Christmas Present Ever  from last year has evolved into the ‘gift that keeps on giving’.

Although I failed to see it due to my emotional state during last years’ presentation of the gift, a snowball effect of changes was a comin’!

Like a snowball, at the top of a hilltop making its descent towards the bottom. Along the way,  snow gathers to its shape and it transforms into a humongous ball of loosely packed snow. At the bottom, it smashes into the bank and puffs of discombobulated snow suddenly infiltrate the air! That explains the impact of the changes in my life and as each puff anchors itself to the ground so has the change within mi alma (my soul).

This precious gift has changed my personal and emotional outlook towards dealing with toxic people or “emotional vampires” as a Face book friend likes to describe them. The ‘gift that keeps on giving’ is responsible for my refusal to allow toxic people to control my emotions or dictate how I feel about myself.

On Christmas Eve, I attended a midnight mass at the Church celebrating the birth of the messiah. Darkness enveloped the church at the start of the mass as an acolyte walked through the pews lighting parishioners’ hand held candles. When the church was illuminated, the procession towards the altar of acolytes, LEM’s and the Rector began. I carried the baby Jesus (large figurine) held up high, to be placed in the manger when we reached the altar and quietly cited a “Don’t drop the baby…Don’t drop the baby” mantra as I took each step. Prior to the start of the procession the Rector gave me sound advice on walking with baby Jesus, “If you drop the baby, you’re going to hell”. (He was kidding of course, or was he?)

Sunday, Christmas day morning, my nephew who luckily missed the start of last year’s, The Best Christmas Present Ever, came for a visit. We exchanged gifts, ate eggs and nana, my mom’s fry cakes while downing freshly brewed Bustelo. It was a nice gathering and my nephew spending time his nana, my mom was thoughtful.

The rest of Christmas day was spent at the Rectory for brunch that consisted of eggs and biscuits, kielbasa, and other foodstuff as well as Bloody Marys, wine and cheese. The Rector did the cooking while the guests carried food from the kitchen and set the table. After the cooking and setting was completed we sat down to eat in an atmosphere filled with warmth and comfort.

It was pleasant and the conversation included opinions on opera, current events, with jokes and laughter and most importantly freedom of expression on my part. No ridicule or silencing of my words from anyone. Finally, relief and enjoyment with people who accepted me for who I am.

This year opened outlets of socialization and connections I did not see or seek before, because I truly believed holidays are spent with family members. Unfortunately, blood ties do not compel one to adhere to ties that bind. Sometimes family members are not the people to be around especially when emotional pain and abuse are the consequences.

The results of my decision to eliminate toxic family members from my life has transcended into understanding and dealing with toxic people in general. I have learned to accept people for who they are and what they bring to the table in regards to emotional and spiritual support and most importantly I am not disappointed when they fail to meet up to my expectations. If their toxicity is overwhelming, I will not deal with it. I move on.

This Christmas was the year of spirituality and sharing the holidays with those who share my faith. Our shared commonality of faith offered me support and encouragement and I am grateful for having that in my first Christmas alone.

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