This year we planned on having a very low-key Christmas holiday, nothing fancy, no gift exchanges for the adults in the family, just dinner together and gifts for the kids. Keep it simple, no fuss, no bother, no hoopla. I’ve tried for two weeks to just make a list of what I wanted to get for the kids and do my shopping. And today I have to confess that I have been barely able to get on task and get moving through the stores. Every store I visited greeted me with an array of traditional Christmas fare: twinkling lights, tinsel and garlands, and candy. Each time I shopped I was defeated by a display of chocolate covered cherries.
You see, every Christmas for the last thirty years, I launched a search for Cella’s chocolate covered cherries as a gift for my dad. He loved those dark chocolate ones with the clear liquid centers, and not a lot of stores seemed to carry them. But they put out TONS of the cheap ones with the gritty white centers, and seeing those displays would always remind me to look for the ones Dad liked. It was my Christmas tradition to present him with a nice big box of them. This is the first Christmas I haven’t had to look for them, and every display of chocolate covered cherries has reduced me to tears. Such a sily thing to cry over, but such a giant reminder of how much I miss him. So all the plans I had for gift-giving have been hit or miss, things I planned to buy got put on hold because I couldn’t see where I was going, and I couldn’t stop the tears. Just had to get through the checkout line and go as quickly as possible. Sometimes I’ve had to leave my shopping cart at the store with whatever was in it. I kept telling myself I needed to face it and get past it, and time and time again, the tears would just start sliding out. So now I have these wimpy little bags of treats for the grandkids when I planned on something much more special. I got the lasagna and garlic bread, but I couldn’t get myself composed to go back in for the green beans and fruit punch I wanted to pick up for dinner. Truth is, I don’t even want to have dinner tomorrow. I just want to crawl back in bed and sleep until it’s not Christmas anymore.