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