I used to have a hard time with the holiday season. From November 1st thru January 1st, I had pretty much spent it counting the days till January 2nd. It was a time when loneliness was at its worst, when I hated being alone and not have a huge family that loved me to celebrate with.
I grew up with a huge family, so every Thanksgiving and Christmas was always a big family get-together. When I got to be a young adult and married, that added to more family gatherings. But as I got older and more restless and depressed, those family get-togethers started to become a chore, something done out of obligation, where love was no longer a reason. The season was no longer magical, no longer a time to smile, no longer a time to celebrate. It meant more demands, more stress, more pretending that everything was okay, more emptiness. In 2010 when I got divorced and the trauma occurred soon after, the misery of the holiday season deepened.
In November 2013 I felt inspired to do a painting with a lamppost, showing a light on a lonely path. During that time I was reminded of a song I would hear often as a child, called “Life and Breath” by Johnny Mathis. (My mom was a fan, so we heard a lot of JM). The second verse of the song always stood out to me: “I’d buy your favorite flowers from the lady down the street, and hurry to the corner where we always used to meet. But night after night, I sit and watch the petals fall…” After hearing the song, I HAD to incorporate that into a painting! A true depiction of the season for me…melancholy and loneliness, yet a sense of nostalgia for yesteryears and a hope for love.
By the way, as of 2015 I no longer dread the holiday season…I embrace it! Its a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, a time to be grateful for my wonderful sons and the family/friends who actually do love me. Its better to do less with peace than more with stress.