Christmas was never a happy time for me. My husband hated Christmas, and made it impossible to enjoy it when he was around. He was abusive, and forbade me to put up a tree at Christmas. He forbade me to go to church. He forbade me to have any life other than his wife.
It wasn’t until my son Brandon was 10 months old, did I muster enough courage to leave. With a little planning, I was able to escape another beating with enough money to rent a bachelor apartment, purchase a bed and some used furniture from Good Will. It was tough, but when I looked at my son, I realized that I had to get out of that situation, if he is going to have a happy and blissful childhood.
With a little paint, and some creative decorating our apartment was very homey. We were comfortable and safe.
My parents had died years ago, and I didn’t have any siblings to rely on. I knew that I would have to rely on myself, as I have always done. It seemed like a difficult and daunting road ahead of me, especially with Christmas around the corner.
A few days before Christmas while hunting for a job, I was surprised how much in the Christmas spirit I was getting as I walked down the busy streets, watching shoppers and carolers and even Santa. Everyone’s mood was cheerful, wishing each other “Merry Christmas”…”Happy Holidays”…”Seasons Greetings”. The ambiance started to rub off on me, I felt a bit of a spring in my step, and I realized this was Brandon’s first Christmas, and I was going to make it special for him.
Thank God for my new neighbour, who took pity on me, and offered to watch Brandon while I was job hunting, so I took advantage of the time on December 24th and visited Goodwill. I bought a small tree, some lights and an almost new Fisher Price toy for Brandon. I stopped in the grocery store, and picked up a small chicken for our Christmas dinner.
That night, while Brandon slept, I put the lights on the tree, made my own ornaments with popcorn and cranberries, and on the top of the tree I placed a lace angel my mother made for me years ago. I had seen many Christmas trees in my life, at huge department stores and decorating shows, but I had never seen a tree as beautiful as my tree this year!
Christmas morning, Brandon and I went to church. I had never seen him so content, as he sat in his baby seat listening to the choir and the congregation singing Christmas carols.
Later that day, Brandon sat in front of the tree, playing with his new toy, I could smell the chicken cooking and the sound of Christmas carols coming from the radio; it as then I realized that this was my best Christmas ever.