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Merry Christmas 2020

Merry Christmas.

What does this mean? The Webster dictionary says it is an idiom used to wish someone an enjoyable Christmas holiday. Grammatically it is an imperative sentence telling the subject, you, to have a cheerful holiday. If you are a “Happy Holidays” person, it means nearly the same. You are telling the subject to that you wish them happiness this holiday season.

If I do not say it to people, many will think I am rude, especially if they have just said it to me. It is a bitter pill to swallow. I want to be happy and I will have moments of feeling happy, but I know I will spend most of the time either crying or in a funk because my son will never be here again. Someone has just told me to be cheerful and happy when I know I will not. Now I have to wish them happiness. I wish them happiness, but it emphasizes how unfair it is.

People expect the holidays, and the celebrations, to wipe away my sadness. I have been told I need to be happy for my daughter so she sees me happy. Really? She is one of the few who actually put a genuine smile on me. Do they think I choose how I feel? I choose to fake it around them sometimes because it is easier than being lectured. Maybe I am supposed to smile so you feel better about yourself. Then there are the few who think they can push their cheer upon me, reiterating their “Merry Christmas”, or whatever it was, trying to illicit a response. Each rude attempt is a stab into my soul and accentuates my difference. I know my holiday differs from your personal preconceived ideal.

This is very similar to people saying “How are you.” I have expressed warm wishes to a few people but mostly when someone pushes their cheeriness on me, I just say “Hi”. This is the same thing I say in response to “How are you?” I hate the reminder, but I reply politely with a generic greeting as an acknowledgement the person spoke to me.

Okay, I do not always respond. Some days I have no more energy and am just trying to hold it together to make it home. So if you are greeting someone and try to push your cheer on them and they do not reciprocate, let them be. It might be me.

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