Four years ago I would beg Aaron to let us decorate our Christmas tree and house in mid November. He would tell me to chill out and at least wait until the Saturday of our local Christmas parade. It used to be such a fun day to decorate the tree together. Aaron would crank out the Christmas carols, which he would listen to on his iPod for half of November and all of December.Now it is so different. I dread the months of November to January and just wish I could avoid Christmas all together. I now see people posting pictures of their Christmas tree on Facebook and Instagram before December and it makes me so sad to know that we would once do the same.
The first year after Aaron passed away we didn't put a tree up at all. I got away with it because we were selling our house, and I told the boys that it would be easier to not have it up because we would have people coming to look at the house all the time. Last year we put the tree up, but I put it up in our sunroom, which is a room we don't use at night time. I knew if I put it up out there, I could avoid Christmas a little bit because I wouldn't be looking at the tree every night.
This year I feel strong enough to put the tree up in our lounge room, and the boys were excited to put it up on the 1st of December. I try not to let the boys know how hard it is for me at this time of the year, and it's nice that they still get excited about it.
This year we went to the Christmas parade with our friends Gary and Lisa and their girls. I had planned on taking the boys, but it was nice to meet them there.
When Kobe saw Santa he called out 'hi Santa!! Have I been naughty or good!?'.
A couple of weeks ago we had our school fair and another teacher and I ran a funny photo booth. The boys and I had fun dressing up and kind of went with a Christmas theme, with a super hero and weird mask thrown in as well :) Don't judge me for Kobe's 1D t-shirt! He won it at the fair and was so excited about it, and now wants to wear it everywhere!
Last night we went to an awesome 'Night in Bethlehem' at church. Everyone had put so much work into it, and everything had been transformed into an amazing market place in Bethlehem. We decided not to dress up this year, but Jay was a shepherd in the play.
I wasn't dreading going to the activity, but as the night went on it just got hard. It's still hard to see families together. It's hard to sing Christmas carols and to hear how wonderful Christmas is, when you just feel so empty inside. It's hard to hear how Christmas means spending time with family, when a third of your family are not here anymore. I am grateful for the reason for the season and that's why I thought it would be nice to go to the activity last night, but grief always hits me really hard, when I'm least expecting it. It was a lovely night, but I just went home feeling so sad.
After church today we went and decorated Aaron and Noah's graves for Christmas. Aaron used to love Christmas so much, and we always have a laugh about how much he got into it. I'm sure he loves seeing the Christmas things at his grave, especially his Hawthorn snow globe that a student gave him for Christmas one year.
I've had comments on my blog and Instagram saying that Aaron and Noah wouldn't want me to feel sad and to dread the Christmas season, and I totally know that, but I can't help but struggle at this time of the year. I always feel lonely, but this time of the year is a lonelier than usual. I wish I could just look forward to Christmas, instead of wishing it away, and I'm sure at some stage that will happen, but it's still very hard.