Christmas Is What You Make It!

I have been enjoying looking at all of the “family photos” made around the Christmas tree on Facebook. I was hoping to have one of my own to share. It’s wonderful to see different generations gathered to enjoy food, fun, and fellowship. I’ve seen gingerbread houses, decorated sugar cookies, and beautiful trees. There have been pictures which made me smile, pictures that made me laugh, and pictures that made me cry. Christmas has always been such a special holiday for me. There are not many Christmas traditions that my family has not done. We’ve gone caroling, decorated sugar cookies, and turned the inside of the house into a “Santa Wonderland!” We’ve hosted parties, made the house smell delicious with that mulling spiced cider, hung the stockings by the chimney with care, and spent Christmas Eve reading, “The Night Before Christmas” with the girls in their new Christmas pajamas, (of course). We’ve “played Santa” as a family – buying, wrapping, and delivering presents on Christmas Eve, letting the girls sneak up to the door to leave the gifts while Dad waits in the “get-away car.” When the girls were home, I never thought about things changing. Christmas would always be Christmas – right?

Well, I’ve learned that part of being the parent of “grown-up children” is dealing with change. It’s hard. We focused on “our family” for all those years, and now, they want to do the same. It’s the way that it should be. (Did I say,”It’s hard?”) So, we had our “family Christmas” this weekend. It was so wonderful having all of the kids home. We had a lovely time, but now they are all gone on. It doesn’t mean that our Christmas is necessarily over, but it will be different. But, does different mean bad? I believe that it’s only bad if we choose to make it that way. So, we’ve decided that Christmas isn’t “over,” – just phase one! Steve and I have been coming up with all kinds of things that we can do over the next few days to enjoy Christmas “home alone.” That will be phase 2. Then, later in the week, we plan to go to Tennessee to visit extended family – phase 3. So, instead of cramming everything into one day, we’ll a full week of fun! Stretching things out makes them a lot less stressful. I actually plan on “sleeping late” on Christmas morning for the first time in my life! It sounds kinda nice! Who knew?

For those of you who are dealing with “changes” this year – loss of a loved one through death or divorce, a new home in an unfamiliar town, a new job with no vacation days built up, or like us, just a change in circumstances, may you find joy in knowing that you are loved and not alone. You’ve got this. You’re going to be okay. 2020 is less than ten days away! And guess what? We didn’t even think about taking a family picture this weekend! Oh well. . . life’s not perfect, is it? God Bless, Courtney

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