I have not spent the last month and half in a constant state of dread like the last part of 2010. It's not that I have been looking forward to Christmas 2011, but I am dealing with it better.
Being in the middle of what has become a high-risk-like pregnancy and Thing 3's imminent arrival has provided plenty on non-Christmas related distractions. It has also given me plenty of excuses to stay home and avoid as much of Christmas as I want. (I better start looking into a plan for next year now while I still have a tiny amount of brain function left.) But it's not just the new baby distracting me.
I decided that the Christmas tree should be upstairs this year and have more than the ornaments made for Reid and those that D made at school on it. However, I did let 2 four year olds do most of the decorating which allowed me to not focus on the fact that the bottom of the tree should be naked in order to prevent Reid from having his way with the ornaments. The sad thoughts about what should have been are still in my head, but I can think them without crying, most of the time.
I have stopped hoping that anyone outside my little family will mention Reid in relation to Christmas. (and by anyone, I mean all those people who aren't missing their own children too.) I would be thrilled to find a mention of him in a Christmas card, but it doesn't send me into a sobbing fit when he isn't. I am pretty bitter about other people's ability to have live children though so the Christmas letters where I found out that D.G.'s cousins have managed to have 2 live children in the time since we started trying for just one more make me wish our fireplace was wood-burning instead of gas.
(I did receive a beautiful gift from my wonderful friend G and hopefully I will be able to take a good picture of it tonight to post tomorrow.)
This mornings activities had nothing to do with Christmas, and maybe I was just torturing myself by doing it on Christmas Eve, but I felt the need finally split up Reid's blanket and get his ashes and clothing moved from the crib to my nightstand. I don't regret doing it, his things now fit into the box I wanted them to, I have a piece to hold on to when I miss him most and there is a piece that is going to stay under the bottom sheet of the crib right under where Thing 3 will sleep (hopefully). I held it together through actually cutting and sewing the blanket, but putting his piece into the box with his ashes and clothes, I fell apart. Lots of the sadness that is always present and some of the anger that a few others of us have mentioned feeling this year; anger that this is the only thing I can do for my son this Christmas, anger that I can't sing to him, or give him gifts or bake his favorite cookies.
36 hours from now Christmas will be over and the world's focus will be on Bo.xi.ng Day sales and hockey (at least here in my local "world" it will be). Those I can deal with.