SD - and everyone,
i think many people have a difficult time with the holidays - for varying reasons. for those of us that have CSA issues that are also intertwined, it is even worse.
one song that always chokes me up is "I'll be Home for Christmas" - not because i have good memories of home and family at that time - or any other time - but because i don't. i don't even know where "home" is - i've had more than 30 addresses so far and there is no hometown or old homestead to return to.
we are brainwashed into thinking it is supposed to be a warm-fuzzy-Waltons-Hallmark season - not just one day - but weeks if not months of peace and good will and sentiment and family love. but for most of us - it aint! so we feel excluded and guilty and like misfits on top of the personal baggage.
one of my best holiday seasons was while in college. i was determined not to go "home." my family had moved while i was away at college and i knew no one else at their new location. the last thing i wanted was to be trapped with them for the entire break.
i signed up to volunteer delivering food baskets to needy families in inner city Chicago and putting on parties and giving gifts to underprivileged kids. we slept on the floor at a community centre and ate lots of baloney sandwiches on donated day-old bread. but it was great! more love and genuine Christmas spirit than any other year in my life to that point. it sure got my mind off my own problems and i felt like i was making at least a little difference.
i'm sure most communities have some homeless mission or feeding program or some charity or church that would love to have volunteers at Christmas to help serve meals or whatever.
my wife and i have also tried several years to invite people who are far from home or have no other family or have no other place to go - to come to our home. it is not the same as family - and that is just the point!
no - something like this doesn't solve the underlying problem - but it is a good distraction - and it helps somebody else too.
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself... And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." - Paulo Coelho