Christmas Morning

Written December 25, 2010, by the owner of this blog.

Times change, situations change, and maintaining inner peace requires that we adapt to that change.  Christmas morning is the perfect example of this in our house.

Years ago, the wee hours of Christmas morning would find my husband and me quietly slipping all the gifts under the tree and filling the stockings.  The tree would be plugged in to illuminate the darkness with its brilliance, and highlight the packages given in love, because of love, and reminding us of the special day we’re celebrating.  The manger scene would be gently illuminated.  We’d slip back into bed, sleeping lightly in anticipation of the boys’ early morning wake-up and thundering footsteps as they ran down the stairs and talked with each other about the tree and all the packages.  Eventually one would come to “wake” us, and we’d slip into robes and head downstairs to enjoy the traditional Christmas morning.

It was wonderful 🙂  While everyone played with their new toys, I would make a huge country style breakfast.  We’d all sit down to eat together and the day would be filled with being together.

We moved away from family and our Christmas traditions had to be changed in the interest of avoiding multiple trips over a two-day period to cover over 300 miles of back-and-forth.  Hotel rooms were not an option because of cost and pets, and staying with family wasn’t an option either – hosting all five of us plus a dog was just too much.

For the past couple of years we’ve altered our traditions and the result is a December full of family gatherings and celebrations, but a December 25th spent quietly, just my husband and me.  I walked through our empty house just now and imagined all the things I would do today:  paint the upstairs bathroom, finish installing the hardware on the new doors and install them, put away the Christmas decorations and finally, clean the house.  The hubs and I will go to the Chinese buffet for lunch.  Maybe we’ll work on the bar project in the garage together.  Not exactly how one might imagine spending December 25th.

But this suits us and our family!  The first Saturday in December is the Hubby’s family Christmas, when his entire family comes to our house to celebrate Christmas with us.  The second and/or third Saturdays usually hold company Christmas parties.  On the Sunday morning before Christmas, the five of us have Our Christmas.  The boys usually spend the entirety of their Christmas break with their birth father, with the exception of a few hours on Christmas Eve afternoon when we pick them up, gather with my family for that particular celebration, and then return them to him.

I’ve lived in a lot of different places, and I’ve spent a lot of “holidays” away from my hometown.  Here is the mantra I live by:

“Home” is wherever my husband, my sons, and I are together.  A “holiday” is any day the five of us can celebrate a special occasion together.

This doesn’t make Christmas any less special – even if we celebrate it on the 18th of December.  It doesn’t diminish birthdays or any other holiday.

So, Merry Christmas to you whether your celebration is today, yesterday, last week or tomorrow.  During this month we celebrate the birth of the One that gave all that we might receive an eternity of peace with Him.

 

© Maria R. Conklin and Journey Of A Tired Heart, 2015-2016

Merry Christmas

WARNING: This was written while in the darkness of depression and in no way represents how I generally feel. I considered deleting it to protect you from reading such unpleasantness, but I’ve left it here to show that even the most jovial, outgoing, friendly people in the world can wrestle with – and lose to – depression that alters perception dramatically. It’s embarrassing to put this out there for anyone to read.

Merry Christmas

The month-long festivities of Christmastime have come to a sad and bitter end. All that’s left is tomorrow, Christmas Day, and I’ll likely spend that as I usually do – taking down and putting away the decorations.

I tried everything I could think of this year to recapture the excitement of the holiday but I failed. I just feel numb to it all. Perhaps it’s just a part of growing older. Every year it’s a little worse…a little more all-encompassing. What’s the point?

I do not mean any disrespect to Jesus when I ask about the point to the holiday festivities. This is when we Christians celebrate the birth of the Christ child, who sacrificed His life to save ours.

When I was younger, I was all about Christmas. Loved it so much I couldn’t wait to have a house of my own so I could decorate the entire place for Christmas and leave it that way year ‘round. My love of the holiday and the excitement carried well into my thirties and maybe even my early forties; through a marriage, the births of three beautiful children, and a divorce.

After the divorce, when the special occasions had to be carved up to accommodate parental visitation rights as agreed to by the parental parties and sealed with the appropriate legal documents, Christmas Day wasn’t Christmas anymore. Christmas Eve afternoon became Christmas Day.  After I remarried and we relocated, the Sunday before Christmas became Christmas. “A holiday doesn’t have to be on a certain day,” I’ve often quipped in my sagely way. “A holiday is whenever we are all together.”

I am so wise. So damned smart. Now stand back while I projectile vomit over my disgust with this annual attempt to deal with the stinking lousy situation that has killed the joy for me.

Oh what I wouldn’t give to go back to Christmas mornings and those six sweet little feet running through the house; three little voices squealing and so excited about the gifts that appeared overnight under the tree! It was the Christmas of dreams, when the families gathered together on Christmas Eve and my children awoke to **Christmas**!! Yay!!  Christmas Day was a blessing! A beautiful, wonderful day of renewal and love, and appreciation!

Forcing it onto another day has killed it? The kids growing up into adults with no children of their own has killed it? My mortal illness has killed it? The stinking depression has killed it?

I don’t know what killed it, but the joy is gone. May it rest in the peace that I no longer know.

And right on cue, there is the pain. Deep in my heart, I know another little bit of me just died.