Trips to the store are confusing. Did I come for Halloween candy or an ornament for my Christmas tree?? If I did come for Halloween candy which kind should I choose? Chocolate, suckers, lemon heads, bubble gum? And when I pick the kind that I want do I want Duck Dynasty? Batman? Dora the Explorer? Mickey Mouse? If I buy what I like what will happen to it if I don’t have enough trick or treaters? Exactly! Get the Dum Dum suckers—cheap, lots, and I don’t care for them. I won’t feel bad when I throw them in the trash instead of back in my candy bowl. Ok, so that’s one holiday decision. I must take a nap before I tackle the next holiday decision.
We must have skipped right over Thanksgiving? The forgotten holiday but often the one we enjoy the most because it has food and Football. There are a few napkins and plates and an occasional pilgrim available at the stores. My Thanksgiving decorations are still in the “fall” box. I’m like the store—just a few—fat pilgrim salt shakers, turkey platters, and a couple of svelte pilgrims who are delivering a Norman Rockwell turkey. These guys won’t appear until the stuffed witches go back in the box. I try to limit my holiday confusion to trips outside my home. I also have to build up my strength for carrying all those plastic tubs of Christmas treasures out of the basement.
All these holiday trappings can be overwhelming to those of you trying to make it through the holidays if you have suffered the death of someone you love. You probably can barely find your bedroom shoes much less your holiday decorations. Even if you could find them—your decorations not your shoes, you probably wouldn’t want to display them because you’d feel guilty for celebrating a holiday without your husband, son, or mom or whoever there.
These feeling aren’t right or wrong they are just feelings. On November 21, 2013 at noon, ET at Shawmut United Methodist Church, 2301-31st Street, Valley, AL we will share a meal with people who’ve experienced the death of a loved one. It will be a good one, lovingly prepared by people who know what it’s like to keep moving after someone you love has died. We will also have a program about facing the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. You will leave with a decoration for your tree or desk drawer –if you have no intentions of putting up a tree this year. It’s a free event sponsored by the Pastoral Institute, Shawmut United Methodist Church and the Naomi group for widows. If you’d like to attend please call for a reservation, 334-768-2341 by November 18th so we can set a place for you. `
Karen Erwin-Brown is the director of the Valley office of the Pastoral Institute. She is a licensed social worker and marriage and family therapist. She provides individual, marriage and family counseling by appointment only. Call 334-768-2341 to schedule an appointment or for more information.