It’s 30 minutes past midnight on Christmas Day. I’ve just awaken, as my newborn son starts to squirm for his next feeding. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” plays in the background. Its the perfect cinematic score, provided by the bar below our apartment.
This is my first Christmas, in a while, spent at home, instead of in Denmark with my husband’s family. Actually, its my first Christmas spent in the United States since my mother passed away 3 years ago.
Usually, I’m the first to explain how Christmas isn’t important to me. My religious upbringing – complicated, and Christmas wasn’t supposed to be celebrated, but my mother found a way. When I was six, she brought home a small fir and put a few wrapped presents at its base. It wasn’t a Christmas tree, she insisted, but rather a “Kwanzaa bush”. Each year, the bush became bigger. By the time I was in high school, the “bush” was 7ft tall, full of ornaments, and complete with an angel on top.
As an adult, I stopped going home for Christmas, afterall, we didn’t celebrate it, and of course – it wasn’t important to me. During my single adult years, I spent the day in pajamas, bingeing on movies and sweets. The other years, I just participated in the holiday traditions of my partner’s family. But now…
This is me now. Married with a newborn and no real Christmas-y plans for the day. It’s likely we will be back in Denmark next year. But, today, I want the impossible. For my mother to be here, holding her grandson in her lap. I would tease her about her Christmas tree. And she would insist that it is indeed a Kwanzaa bush.
Mariah Carey belts out her final high note, “Baby, All I want for Christmas is Youuuu.” We need to move from on top of this bar.