Have you lost anyone near the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays? If you have, you have a sense of what I might be talking about with this title. We have this movie & song version running in our heads of what the holidays should be: that perfect time with family and friends, everyone feeling loved, finding exactly what you want under the tree, beautiful snow on the ground but all the planes running on time, enough time and money to do everything you want to make the holiday perfect.
The lights on our fence aren’t perfect, but sufficient to spread a bit of joy in the dark night.
And there’s that word again. Perfect. Is anything ever really perfect? It can be really, really good, but perfect? We’re probably setting ourselves up for disappointment if that’s what we’re expecting.
Partly, because the holidays generally involve people and none of us is perfect. Well, maybe a few are, but mostly that’s not the case. LOL
Our table top tree. Almost all the items on the tree connect us to a memory.
I have to protect my heart during the holidays. I’m beyond blessed for so many reasons and seeing those less blessed makes me sad. I can’t fix it all. I can do my small bit. For instance, this year our church prepared stockings for 34 kids 4-19 who live full time at the Presbyterian Children’s Home in Itasca, Texas. (Another church adopted the children for larger items, which we’ve done in the past.) But oh, my goodness, these kids don’t have anyone besides the staff and people in various churches who help out. Maybe they are better off than kids in foster care. You hear such horror stories. (Certainly not true of most foster parents.
Ultimately, we had two buggy’s full of stockings. Our congregation is very generous.
It’s just that at this time of year the difference between the haves and the have nots seems so much more extreme.
And then I worry about my Jewish friends. Despite some folks complaining that religion is under attack, to all intents and purposes, the whole country revolves around the Christian calendar. Jewish folks must get very tired of hearing Christmas carols 24/7 on some radio channels. Not to mention the continued violent attacks on Jews. (And the whole gun thing is an entirely different subject.)
I don’t remember where I saw this, but it was turquoise, I had to take the picture.
So, yeah, I find this a difficult time of year as much as I love it, too. “Bittersweet” is the term that fits my feeling.
My father died many years ago on December 14. His funeral was on the 17th. For five years after that my mother became ill in November and was sick for about two months. Every year, I thought I might lose her, too. Bob’s mother died in December, and so did his brother. We have two very good friends at church who died in December a year apart.
It’s the very pits. Losing a loved one at any time is tough, and you’ll be faced with the first for all the holidays, but when someone dies close to Christmas?
So, while I have good memories and traditions I associate with Christmas, for me, it’s a bittersweet holiday. And most of the time I’m able to bury those emotions. But you know I’m doing Noom, and I’m learning to “feel my feels.” They are what they are. Running from them or trying to stuff them down being super busy or with eating all the cookies in the jar aren’t the best way to deal with them.
We are all about deer and moose.
So today, I faced them with you. If you’ve got any of this going on, I hope this post helps you to “feel your feels,” too. I also hope you’ve enjoyed the Christmasy pics I’ve scattered throughout what is something of a downer post. Not like I normally write, but you know I write where I am at the moment.
My mother made me the 2nd stocking from the right. I made the 1st one on the right for Bob the first Christmas we were married. the one on the left is for Charley. I made ones for our daughters when they were little. More deer & moose on the mantle.
So, how about you? If you put up a tree, is it up, decorated? Is all the gift buying completed? Do you still do Christmas or holiday cards? Are they “real” or emails? Do you have any traditions that you do no matter what?
Love to hear from you.
Three of my books are featured on NN Lights’ site. Authors are listed alphabetically. Fair, but that means you have to scroll all the way down to find my books. 😊 https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/holiday-gift-guide
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