Last week I took Colin to the tree lighting ceremony at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. There was singing and dancing, lots of lights and decorations, and it was nice & cold (just the way I like it this time of year). We ran into some friends there, and Colin had fun dancing to the music and having his first hot chocolate.
Today was our annual Snow Day at the park. The city dumps a bunch of snow at Bonita Creek park and turns it into a Winter Wonderland, complete with snowball fights, sledding down hills, train ride, and of course Santa. Colin really loves the snow - I have a feeling he will get into snowboarding just like his Daddy. He enjoyed hanging out with some of his little buddies and throwing snow at Mommy.
I think tomorrow I will try to get the Christmas tree up. Of course I really want to put it up for Colin, but it will be bittersweet. Damien and I always loved doing the tree - going to pick one out, dragging it home on top of the car, putting the lights on it (he always did that since I have no patience :o) ), and finally decorating it with all of our ornaments. And the ornaments are a particular emotional thing for me. Not only did we pick out a new ornament every year from here, but we also brought home from every place that we ever travelled - the kitty snowman from Harrods in London, the scottie dog with a plaid ribbon from Scotland, the kiwi with the Santa hat from New Zealand, the loon from Canada, etc. Then there's that ornament from our 1st Christmas together ... These are things that I can't bear to deal with at this point - I can't even think about looking at them yet. It's too hard.
So this year I did something that I have never done before - I bought a fake tree from Target, complete with lights and pine cones. I felt a little bad about doing it too, because Damien always wanted a real tree every year - he loved the smell of them most of all. But I just didn't think I could handle getting a real tree on my own with a 2 year old in tow ... it's kind of a lot of work for one person. And even my mom said that I have to do what's best for me from now on ... he's not here anymore. Yet I still can't help but feel a little guilty for putting up a plastic rendition of the real thing. But change is good sometimes. And, in many cases, necessary.
As for ornaments, I'm just going to put a bunch of balls up, and maybe some tinsel or trim of some sort. Simple but pretty. Baby steps.
I'm looking forward to spending time with friends and family this holiday season, baking fun holiday treats, spending time outdoors ... keeping busy. Just getting through it, even if that means slapping a fake smile on my face, much like the fake Christmas tree in my living room. I know that someday it will be real again, and that's what will get me through for now.