Since I was 5 years old this little yarn ornament doll has been hanging on the family Christmas tree. I used to take it off the tree and play with it, and then quietly put it back before anyone noticed.
I loved seeing this doll come out every Christmas; it was one of the few things I truly had that represented so much meaning for me.
I couldn't wait to see it when my mom would pull out the Christmas tree and ornaments, and today I still smile every time I pull it out of the box and hang it on my own family Christmas tree.
Christmas has a lot of meaning for me - just like the doll. My mom was decorative and creative when it came to Christmas. She would do crafts and the whole house looked so nice filled with Christmas Wreaths and the smell of pine throughout.
I was abused as a child and I was very unhappy most of the time, but Christmas was the one time of the year that felt different for me. The family was different around Christmas time and my mom made efforts to make Christmas filled with meaning regardless of what went on other times of the year.
Something about being busy with shopping, decorating, baking, family, wrapping, celebrating with parties that just kept the family busy and away from all the things that normally went on.
The tradition was - My mom decorated Christmas the day after thanksgiving. Not a day before or a day after. The crafty decorations were hung throughout the house and just made it feel like a home; a home filled with goodness and grace. I had wished it was Christmas all year round when I was a child. I was happy around Christmas as a child.
My mom made a big deal about Christmas Eve. Family and friends filled out house. Gifts were everywhere to be opened. endless tables of food, and excitement about Santa coming the next morning (although I found out at 6 about Santa not being real from my big brothers and it ruined that magical moment for me young).
Waking up Christmas morning I would walk down the stairs and see gifts so filled that they wrapped around the livingroom and flowed into the kitchen.
My sister and I would grab our stockings and run back upstairs and open them on our bed waiting for everyone to wake up to open gifts. I would eat all the candy in the stocking because I didn't eat much, and it was the only time I got to eat candy.
Regardless of the mom that was always sick or wasn't there for me all the other times, she somehow made Christmas special.
Today I follow a lot of my moms traditions. I make Christmas special for my family.
The other day I was putting up the Christmas tree and I was hanging the small yarn doll up on my tree and I sat there and just smiled. This doll reminds me of the only times I was truly happy. This doll represents tradition, magic, happiness and good memories which are far and in between.
Today I brought this little yarn ornament doll into therapy with me and shared it with my therapist. This was a big deal for me to do this, it was huge!
He held it gently and just sat there in awe with a smile holding onto something that I held when I was 5 years old. He felt as if the small part of me was there and he was holding onto a part of the young me. He sat there and just looked at it for the longest time - taking in the meaning behind it, and that meant a lot to me.
I felt it was a good step into bringing a part of the young me into the room. Trusting my therapist to hold something that is so dear to me. Putting my toes in the water to feel the connection by allowing the young me to be present.
Christmas is one week away and my house is all decorated. Tree is fully decorated and has beautiful ornaments on it. The whole house is red and white and decorated with candles and white lights and lots of garland around the door-ways.
I have my advent candles up that represent the coming of Jesus. Everywhere you look in my house there is Christmas. My house is filled with soon to be celebration just like it was when I was little.
My boys are older now and its different celebrating Christmas morning now that my boys are all teens and my oldest being 21. We are doing something a little different this year and I look forward to starting new traditions.
We will have friends over to celebrate with us, and the night will be much like I remember as a child.
This year feels different. I am really looking forward to Christmas and the Christmas break. After a hard year I think this is my own celebration of renewal and grace.
So as I look at the little yarn doll that brought me so much happiness as a child, I look at it now and have the same feeling - its been a while since I have had this feeling of looking forward to .. it feels good and I feel love in my heart this season - just like the little doll of Christmas.