Christmas of 2012, I was 16 years old at the time. This Christmas was not like most, though it had its bright cheerful colors and songs, it all seemed so fake. This was the year I related most to Cindy Lou Who in the movie ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’. She sang a song called ‘Where are you Christmas’. That summed up how I felt during my most favorite time of the year. This year however, was not the same as any other year. This year was the year that Christmastime had changed for me forever. This is also the year that I received a gift so precious yet so insignificant, so small and cheap, and yet so priceless to me. This is the year that I was given my bracelet,you can check at umisoul.com
I had always enjoyed Christmas. It is the most cheerful and happiest holiday after all. All the colors, smells, and wonderful sounds give me such warm fuzzies inside. I loved the idea of giving to others, weather it was as superficial as a gift, or giving them words of hope, or maybe just giving them a helping hand. That is the concept of Christmas, giving to others. Many Christmas’ I would spend with my grandma. She would buy so many gifts for everyone she knew you would lose count. She loved making people smile and surprising them with that one thing they had hoped to receive. Though, she would not only give fashion jewelry gifts, she would host a huge dinner for all to come and enjoy. She would never turn anyone away from joining in on a meal with her family. She considered everyone that she met to be family. No one would leave her house on Christmas day, without a ginormous smile, full belly, and a heart bursting with love. You would never question her on how she felt about you, she made sure her actions showed exactly what her heart felt.
In 2012, on Labor Day weekend, my world as I knew it came crashing down around me, and there was nothing that I could do about it. That weekend horrid weekend was when my hero, my best friend, my mentor, my biggest fan, and my grandmother had passed. I was barely old enough to drive, I had not yet accomplished all the dreams that we had for me. She was gone, and unable to keep all of her promises that she made me. From then on, all my big moments in life would happen without her. She would no longer be there for holidays like Thanksgiving, or Christmas (which was her favorite holiday too). I knew from that weekend on I would never look at anything the same again. I spend the rest of that year just going through the motions. Things went by me like a blur, as if I was in some sort of tunnel looking at my life continue, but it did not seem like I was really there.
I spent months dreading the one day I used to spend 364 days looking forward to. Christmas, the day and time of year that I used to sing and dance around with such giddy, care-free happiness. Christmas of 2012, though on the outside was all the same, same wonderful colors, beautiful music, sweet smells, yummy food. I saw sadness everywhere I looked. The reds and greens looked dull, the music seemed to anger me, the smells made me sick, and the food was tasteless. Nothing was as it should be. It felt like something was missing, and that was because something was in fact missing. The person that made everyone so happy, so full of love, so caring, she was not there. My grandmother never made it to Christmas that year.
We started to hand out presents like we have done so many years before. Only this year with less enthusiasm from us all, that is except for one person. This made me angry, I did not understand how someone could be so excited about anything let alone a present. We all had just gone through so much heartache. How could my mother, my grandmas daughter be so happy about this plainly wrapped present? My anger grew more and more the more anxious she got about this one particular present. She insisted that I waited till the very end to open it. The longer I waited for everyone else to open their presents, the more I was filled with hate. I watched as everyone started to smile more, their spirits were starting to lift. This added fuel to the fire in my heart. I have never felt so much disdain, especially during this time of year, but this year was different. This year I loathed the very thought of Christmas and happiness.
Finally, the time had gone when all presents, but one were open. Everyone was looking at me. They all had a look of curiosity and anticipation on their faces, all except my mother. She wore an anxious smile. She seemed beyond giddy starring at this unopened gift in my hands. I looked blankly at the festive wrapping around the box before I grabbed one edge of the paper and started to tear it open. Beneath the wrapping paper was a cardboard box taped shut. As I began to take the tape off I felt their eyes on me, I felt my moms smile grow. Each second it took me to unwrap this gift, my madness inside me became more and more unstable. Once, the box was free if tape, I opened the flaps and froze when I saw what waws inside. Instantly, I was filled with so many emotions, I could not sort through them quick enough. Inside the bottom of this box, was a small brown teddy bear, wear a white fitted hoodie, with a picture on it. This little bear had a picture of my grandmother smiling so big, she looked so happy in this picture. Tears flooded my eyes and a bittersweet grin tipped from the corners on my lips. The joy and happiness of Christmas began to come over me when I hugged this bear to my chest as if it was my grandmother embracing me again. I looked up and saw my mother beginning to cry, and for an instant, Christmas was as it was so many years prior.