It’s hard to believe another Christmas has come and gone. We moved into our new house exactly one year ago, the weekend before Christmas. I have loved living here. I still walk around this house with its large, open rooms, and its beautiful windows, and thank God that He lets me live here.
We have an enormous Christmas tree this year. This is what happens when I let Dave pick the tree. It’s about 6’ in diameter! I tease him, but it has been fun to be able to have a big tree. We’ve never been able to do that before.
This Christmas was a quiet one. It’s the first without FarFar. That was hard. I kept looking over at the recliner he sat in last year and played Dave’s new ukulele and made us all laugh. I know he’s in Heaven laughing with Jesus, but we do miss him; and half of Dave’s side of the family was out of town this year.
We were supposed to have my side of the family over on Christmas Eve, but that didn’t happen. Dave developed a pretty bad cough and I sent him to the Urgent Care place to get some antibiotics. I was pretty sure he had bronchitis. I’d been sick just about the whole month of Nov and it took two rounds of antibiotics for me to kick it, so I figured we’d better get Dave started so he didn’t miss much work after the holiday.
Well…the Dr at the Urgent Care place said he had pneumonia! Imagine our surprise! The Dr said that’s probably what I had in Nov (not Bronchitis as I was told) and I gave it to him. So we had to cancel Christmas with my family. It was sad, but they all live here. It’s not like they were in from out of town. We can reschedule.
Christmas Eve was a quiet event. Just the 6 of us. I must admit that my attitude got the better of me that day. We’d planed a fun night and had lots of food and then…nothing. The guys sat around and watch motorsports on TV and the girls hung out in their rooms or the game room. It was very anticlimactic. I’d been fighting it all Christmas season, and I finally just gave into it a bit on Christmas Eve; the sadness that my kids are growing up.
It’s silly I know, but I really do miss the fun of Christmas with little ones. There was no one to do Advent with this year. When we pulled the Advent wreath out of the attic, someone had put the candles in on top when they put it away last year and they melted all over the wreath, rendering it useless. I had to throw away the wreath we’d been using since the kids were little. It was a foreshadowing of what was to come. No one was home to do Advent this year. The boys are so busy with work and school and social lives, the girls too with social activities, Dave often works late. There were many nights it was just me home at dinner time with the kids wandering in at different times, eating when they got home. It is a new stage and I’ve got to figure out how to make the best of it. They do grow up. They do move out. It’s how it’s supposed to work. I was a little grumpy when I went to bed that night.
When I got up in the morning, before all the kids (That’s a first! WE had to wake THEM up!), I saw this under the tree.
I’d told Dave I wanted some chairs like this a few months ago, and he remembered and got them for me. He also got me a few other things that were really nice. Not expensive or fancy, but things that he knew I’d like.
The kids also all got me things this year that I really love. Some beautiful candle sticks from one of my sons, a gift card to Barnes and Noble (because I have a Nook) from the other, new Tupperware from one daughter because she’d heard me saying how I really need to go through the Tupperware cabinet and get rid of most of it and get new stuff, and my other daughter got me a lovely little teapot to match my collection.
I don’t mean to sound greedy or materialistic, because I’m really not. I love gift giving. I love to get just the right thing for just the right person. It’s not about the money spent; it’s about finding that one thing that you know is going to put a smile on their face. This year, my kids did that for me. Each item I received from them and my husband was something that they knew I’d love because they were paying attention. They know me. It was a reminder to me that having them grow up is not such a bad thing.
I didn’t have little boys in matching Christmas sweaters or little girls in fancy velvet dresses and stockings at the Christmas Eve service. I didn’t have kids so excited about Advent that they argued over whose turn it was to light the candle that night and listened with rapt attention to the Advent readings. I didn’t have kids up before the sun to see what Santa left in their stockings. Instead I had daughters who worked in the nursery on Christmas Eve so the young mothers could hear the service. I had boys who went and picked up their grandma on Christmas Day so she didn’t have to drive in the bad weather. I had kids who really thought about what would make their momma happy on Christmas Day.
Even thought Dave was a bit sick, and there were no little ones squealing with delight; even though FarFar is no longer here with us, and half the family was out of town, it was still a special Christmas. Because really, what do you need to make Christmas special? Jesus already did all the work to make it special, we just have to remember and be thankful.