Echoes of an Empty Christmas

As many of my readers know, I recently made a life changing decision to move from Upstate New York to Tennessee (Farmview Drive) and it couldn’t have been a better decision! Three of my children and my grandson made the trek with me and the transition was long and hard! However, after six months of being here, we once again feel like we are “home”. Our next step will be finding a home to purchase this year but that is several months out. The Christmas season just passed and I can’t help but remember that my life has not always experienced the joy and freedom that I have now.

During this transition, I stopped writing because the stress of packing, moving, starting a new job, and moving the kids down a month later, has just been too much. But in finding a new church home and getting my spiritual focus back, I have found that my writing inspiration has returned; and it was sparked by a word of knowledge from a prayer warrior and a side note comment that a speaker made prior to her main message.

The 2022 Christmas season has just passed and the new year has begun. As I look back at the new memories we created, I can’t help but to compare them to the ones I grew up with. I guess because I know that there are so many people out in the world right now who didn’t have a great, joy filled, family filled, friend filled holiday. Some just want the holidays to be over so they don’t have to hear all of the holly jolly music and see the monotonous Christmas movies that always end up with the guy and the girl living happily ever after. It just isn’t real life for many people who have come from poverty, loss, hardship or all of the above. Nor has this been the case for my own life (The Breaking Begins). Having said that, the holiday seasons don’t always have to be difficult, but it takes hard work and dedication to make that change.

A few weeks ago I was sitting in church and the holidays were quickly approaching.  The message was prefaced by the pastor mentioning she had not grown up with Christmas trees and presents.  As soon as she said that, my thoughts made contact with a memory I hadn’t thought of in decades.

I was the first one to wake up on Christmas morning when I was around six or seven years old. I walked into the living room and saw the Christmas tree stacked high with presents. I instinctively knew that most of them were not going to be for me or my siblings. I never knew who the bulk of them went to, however, it was irrelevant to me because I was used to it. I remember so vividly how extremely quiet, empty and lonely the house felt as I stood in the living room all alone. Then the memory abruptly ended.

My next thoughts took me to all of the children who were going to wake up this year, on Christmas morning, and would feel the same way I did at their age. Then, this poem rose up in my soul and I wrote it down as I sat in that church service:

An empty house echoing with silent fears
Angry footsteps the most dreaded sound
Mom not cooking, but covering bruises with makeup
No one singing, only cries of pain can be heard

So many presents under the large tree
Kids trained to know that few are for them
Every Christmas song un-relatable and annoying
Every movie not representative of real life

Christmas service another hollow and boring chore
Forced to sit perfectly quiet, retaliation awaits if not so
A lack of understanding as to where joy was to be found
Only suffocating loneliness snuffing out the soul

Then the true reason for the holiday reveals Himself
And a veil instantly drops to reveal His light
Not another soul around, only His unfamiliar presence
And a gift alas that is meaningful and real

Love rushing in to give life to a barren heart
A healing balm reaching into the depths of a longing soul
Christmas no longer a season of sinking depression
But one that breathes life when that Love is accepted

Author: Kris Martinez (12/2022)

The Christmas season may not be full of joy right now, but that does not mean it will always be this way. I have spent many years rebuilding my relationships with my children and each holiday season has become more enjoyable than the last. Not because I sat around waiting for things to change or get better, but because I chased betterment and pursued the things that brought me joy. You too can change your circumstances by taking one situation at a time and doing what it takes to either cut it out of your life, or work to make it an enjoyable part of your life. Either way, it is up to you to make every choice that will bring you closer to experiencing joy in and out of the holiday season. It may take time, however, every effort is worth it when you find yourself in the place where you want to be.

How do you start the process? You pick up your head, open your eyes to what is holding you back, and start advocating for your own peace and joy. No one can do this for you because only you know what you need to make your life happier and more enjoyable. As for me, I have come a long way from that little girl, in that empty house, full of presents for other people. But I have worked hard for what I have and therefore, I can fully enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Until the next holiday season, fight hard for the peace and the joy your heart desires.

7 responses to “Echoes of an Empty Christmas”

  1. So beautifully written ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Morgan!! This was beautiful. May God continue to bless you and guide you in your future endeavors. Sending love! 💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sending Love right back to you! 💞

      Like

  3. Keep moving forward and shining His light! Love you 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love you too!!!🥰

      Like

      1. What a great reminder to focus on what is important and meaningful to us during holidays and throughout the year. Thanks for sharing your story.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful!

    Sent from my iPhone

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    Liked by 1 person

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