Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas wallowing....

Posted by Terry McNichols

I recently invited some family members to join us for our Christmas festivities. I recounted a story that seems meaningful to me at the moment.

When I was in college, I had a relationship with a young man who invited me to spend Thanksgiving with his family. I was far from home and was happy for the invitation and really didn't expect that it was a formal proposal of marriage or similar long-term commitment, but apparently the thought of taking me home "meet the family" had a lot more weight for him than for me. The night before our Thanksgiving Day "date," he unceremoniously dumped me. I remember the pain to this day.

But what I did at that juncture was to try to wallow in the pain of the moment. I decided that I would walk to Taco Bell and eat my Thanksgiving dinner all by myself -- a dinner of tacos and salsa, and whatever other non-traditional fare I could muster. I wanted to deeply wallow in my grief and pain and set up a story to tell for generations to come.

Unfortunately for me, however, a friend from my hometown spotted me walking the lonely road from my campus to town and would not have it that I should spend Thanksgiving alone. She and her family insisted that I join them and took me to a very fancy restaurant where we had a traditional meal, paid for by her generous parents. I can barely remember her name, although she was a fine friend, and I have never forgotten that kindness.

But my point? Don't be alone on Christmas. Find a place to fit in and embrace it with abandon. Swallow your pride and take the leap. Find someone who is also alone and get together. Or find a need and fill it. But don't wallow in the self pity of aloneness and holiday sorrow. Pick up that girl walking along the road, on her way to Taco Bell, and offer her a meal.

(Photo by Thomas Hawk, shared via Flickr)

1 comment:

peggy Forster said...

WHat a terrific story. I am so good at Wallowing. Do I really have to give it up? :) Yes, good point. Thanks for sharing.