It's always worse around this time of year

The feeling of grief over lost loved ones

An emptiness that cannot be filled

Even by the reason behind the season

I know there are other unhappy families out there

But it's the happy ones I always seem to see

Forever taunting me with what I could have had

But have never experienced

Of what I used to ask Santa for

Even though I was pretty sure he wasn't real

The little girl in me kept hoping

But eventually, the little girl grew up

Then her dreams were shattered

And she didn't hope anymore

For family get-togethers

Where grandparents tell stories

And cousins catch up

Where the grown-ups cook meals

While singing carols off-key

I know not to expect that with my family

But that doesn't ease my sorrow

When I recall the past

If there was any contact during the festive season

It would be for an awkward five minutes

To deliver presents without merriment

There won't be any contact this year

But I shed no tears over that

There was no love behind those presents anyway

I do feel sorry for the little ones though

They worked so hard to be good this year

But they will not be rewarded

The presents they won't receive are not important

Rather, it is the love they will miss out on

I fear they will grow up

Without ever experiencing a memorable Christmas

It is something that is bound to haunt them forever

For one day, they will see what a tragedy it was

That they had relatives who lived ten minutes away

But because of lies and gossip and greed

These people could have passed as strangers

In fact, these people could have not even existed

And it wouldn't have made a difference


AUTHOR'S NOTE: Dedicated to everyone out there whose family experiences during Christmas are not as idyllic as many of those presented in movies or on TV.