Christmas rolled around again and dreads was going to accompany me to my family’s Christmas Eve Tradition. Being I come from an Italian family, for us Christmas Eve is possibly the best holiday celebration ever. The food, the feeling, the excitement, it’s just the most amazing day of the entire year. My girls and I arrived at my sister’s house and we were all set to have our once a year memorable meal. We sat down and gobbled up everything as if it was our last meal. With sounds of Bing Crosby playing in the background the doorbell rang and dreads appears. Dressed in a sharp black suit, shirt unbuttoned, no tie. He was slick and smooth and waltzed in with ease. He joined us for dessert and even though we were enjoying the night I could feel tension building and I couldn’t stop it. Not good tension, not sexual tension, maybe aggression was a better word. Towards the end of the evening my girls and I wrapped things up and said our goodbyes and got ourselves home to put out gifts, the reindeer food and Santa’s cookies. I have always believed in Santa. I can remember as a kid thinking I saw him in my doorway one Christmas Eve. No one will ever be able to convince me that I didn’t. I know what I saw. In my house if you don’t believe you don’t get gifts. So we put out cookies, we put out reindeer food and we wait. The believing is the best part. Within seconds of stepping in the door dreads was hot on my heels. We began to argue. I didn’t do this and I did too much of that. Why is it that when in an argument the key phrases are always “Why do you always” “Why don’t you ever” and “How come you never” My girlfriend pointed this out to me once. They are the three top things yelled at each other when feelings are being hurt, lines are being crossed and things are changing forever. I could feel the anger strike like an iron inside my veins. I was not going to be having this argument on Christmas Eve in front of my kids. I just wasn’t doing it. And I sat down quietly and let him go on an on about how cold I am and how I don’t show respect and how I basically suck on all counts. I said nothing. Maybe one of the few times in an argument that I held my tongue, but really he was saying so much without breathing so even if I did want to say something, I wasn’t going to be able to stop his soliloquy. And then the words I am so very familiar with came out of his mouth “I can’t do this….” And with that he stormed out of my house. My daughters came rushing downstairs to make sure I was ok. I was. I always was. My girls used to tell me all the time and still say it now that one of two things always happens to me in relationships: 1) Everyone leaves me or B) I make everyone leave. And again, someone left. And this time it wasn’t me, but I admit I did nothing to stop him from going. Sometimes you are just happy someone made a decision to leave and you’re thankful it didn’t have to be you. Another Holiday where I can look back and see disaster struck. I will go out a limb here and would venture to say that holidays are stressful to say the least, but apparently Holidays with me are unbearable. Which I find completely ridiculous, because my main focus of the holidays has always been to make everyone feel welcome, feel thought of, feel loved and appreciated. How was it humanly possible that I would wake up on yet another holiday morning alone? What happened to Merry, Happy and deck the hell out of things? When was it going to be my turn? When I get to wake up on Christmas morning and feel thought of? Appreciated? Loved? When was Santa going to bring me the one thing I’ve always wanted? Not a toy train or a baby doll, not a new house or new car, not wealth or riches, but someone who thought waking up next to me was the best gift they could receive. That’s what I’d write in my Dear Santa letter.