Christmas Makes Me Cry

I've been listening to a lot of Christmas music this holiday season. Album after album of current and classic songs, almost to the point where they all blend together. One of my favorite Christmas albums to be released this year is Kacey Musgraves's A Very Kacey Christmas. It stands out. It's whimsical and quirky and sweet, just like Musgraves herself. She's one of the best country artists making music right now. There's an original song on the album called "Christmas Makes Me Cry." Here is Musgraves performing it:



It's all red and gold and Nat King Cole and tinsel on the tree
It's all twinkle lights and snowy nights and kids still believe
And I know that they say, "Have a Happy Holiday"
And every year, I sincerely try
Oh, but Christmas, it always makes me cry 
It's the ones we miss, no one to kiss under the mistletoe
Another year gone by, just one more that I, I couldn't make it home
And I know that they say, "Have a Happy Holiday"
And every year, I swear I sincerely try
Oh, but Christmas, it always makes me cry 
Always seems like everybody else is having fun
I wonder if I'm the only one 
There's broken hearts so there's broken parts just wrapped in pretty paper
And it's always sad seeing mom and dad getting a little grayer
And they always say, "Have a Happy Holiday"
And every year, I sincerely try
Oh, but Christmas, it always makes me cry

I admire Musgraves's willingness to acknowledge the sadness of Christmas. While the holiday season can definitely hold light and beauty, it also contains memories of the people we've lost and who are not here to share this time with us.

A few days ago, the weight of the holiday hit me. I was seized by a sudden and deep melancholy that persists. I thought about my father and felt his absence. I've spent a lot of time lately trying to avoid the pain of Christmas. I've listened to holiday albums and watched comforting films, but the sadness is always there right at the surface.

I don't have any advice or tips for coping with the holidays. I think we each find our own coping mechanisms and do the best we can. I try to focus on what I do have--my mother, a place to live, a sweet dog, presents under the tree. You have to figure out a way to hold the hurt and the love all at once.

I do remember the last Christmas with my father. Of course, at the time I didn't know it would be the last. You never do know. I have some photographs that I can't look at. I have memories that I can't dwell on because to think too much about them will make me unravel. I miss him. I want to buy him presents. I want to hug him. I want to tell him that I love him so much. I want another Christmas with him. Instead, I'll spend Christmas with my mother and I'll smile for her and laugh with her and maybe even cry with her and we will hold each other up and survive together.