My first Christmas without you


Anna Anderson

Although I may not have her physical presence, gifts like these make it all the more easier to feel her spirit.

Anna Anderson, Feature Editor

As much as I hate to admit it, Christmas holds great expectations. The preconceived notion that above all else, despite anything, you must be joyful at all times. The picture perfect family gathered under the tree with smiles littered across their faces. This toxic perfectionism will not be the case for me come Christmas this year. Before October of 2022, I had never truly experienced grief and the soul crushing numbness that comes along with it. As the holidays loom just around the corner, I feel my grandmother’s absence growing more and more profound. The time when I feel I need her most, she is not there. Since before I could form memories, my grandma had always set out to make each year’s Christmas better than the last. It was never Santa Clause or presents that made Christmas feel special, it was her.

I can still make out all of the decorations spread throughout her house, each placed in a specific location year after year. I would try to help her decorate, but she had a specific way that could not quite be matched by anyone else. As I got the Christmas totes down from storage this year (all 18 of them), I felt her presence at that time the strongest. That was something that we always did together without fail. We would dance around the house together for hours blaring Christmas CD’s. It was in those moments I took her and her health for granted most. My young naive mind convinced me that there would always be another year of us together. She filled her home and everywhere she went with the most powerful, un-deniable Christmas spirit I’ve ever seen.

Every year my grandma would gift us ornaments. Sometimes it was one, but most years it was multiple. As the first grandchild, the tree in my room is sprinkled with ornaments gifted to me by her, some containing notes and pictures, all representing the love and joy she felt in having and experiencing the love of a grandma.

As I approach my last Christmas as a child, I wish more than anything that it could be spent with her. I long for the comfort and unwavering support that came along with her. I wish I had appreciated my time and the gift of her presence more sacradly. I hope that when that day comes around like it always does, I feel your love and rejoicing, just the same as every other year. I hope that wherever she is, she can see me.