The last Christmas I spent living “at home” with family was as a teenager in the 90s. Out of all of the horrible Christmases of my childhood, the last Christmas was one of the most traumatic. It was the year of the Blue Christmas.
That holiday season, my mother’s married boyfriend had broken up with her. She dated this married man for about a decade. He would vacillate between telling her he was going to divorce his wife and breaking up with her. When they finally broke up for good after a decade of this, he divorced his wife within 6 months and married someone else (not my mother).
This particular Christmas was about year three or maybe year four of their relationship, and he had broken it off with her right before the holidays. My mother proclaimed that year was a Blue Christmas.
The Christmas tree was blue. While not-green Christmas trees may be popular now, they weren’t in the 90s. Somehow, my mother found a blue Christmas tree. The lights were all blue. The garland was blue. Every single ornament on the tree was blue. Every Christmas decoration my mother put out that year was blue, including the fake snow.
She took empty boxes, wrapped them in (guess what?) blue wrapping paper and put them under the tree. She said that the empty boxes were presents that year. Maybe they were a reflection of how she was feeling.
Elvis’ Blue Christmas played on repeat in the house for a straight month. There were no other Christmas songs played. The radio was not allowed to be on. The only music playing was Elvis’ Blue Christmas on repeat for an entire month. I’m not exaggerating. She actually did this.
To this day, every time I hear Blue Christmas, I feel nauseous. I have to turn it off. I cannot bear to hear that song ever again, no matter who is singing it.
I recently heard a Norah Jones Christmas song on the radio and was thinking I would like to buy her Christmas CD. When I looked up her Christmas CD, I saw that Blue Christmas was on the album. I will not purchase the album. I refuse to own a single CD containing the Blue Christmas song, no matter who is singing it.
To this day, I refuse to have anything blue at Christmas. I do not want blue lights. I do not want blue ornaments. I do not want any blue Christmas decorations.
There is one exception.
I have this bluebird of happiness on my Christmas tree. It was made by the (now retired) receptionist at our veterinarian office. It is the only blue thing I will have for Christmas. It is the bluebird of HAPPINESS. As Catherine O’Hara says in Home Alone, Christmas is the Season of Perpetual Hope. The bluebird of happiness is the only blue thing I allow at Christmas.
There will be no blue Christmases in my household as an adult. We choose happiness.
Merry Christmas. May it be happy and full of love.