Christmas 2022


I'm not going to lie, I knew this wasn't going to be a great, or even a good Christmas.  This year has been horrible with the death of my mother in July and two family friends passing away just weeks ago.  Not to mention that I just found out that another of my mother's dearest friends died just two months after my mom.  One of my son's top college picks is closing its doors and we are still anxiously awaiting the response of another.  (I KNOW letters were mailed out on Wednesday and there was no Christmas miracle on our mailbox.)  The rain meant flooding down at the shore, followed by brutal cold, so that the water that did not recede was frozen over.  I did not feel that we could go down and see my father for Christmas.  Which sucks because it's been 3 years since we had a full family holiday, and I didn't truly appreciate the holiday at the time.  Oh, and my left knee is still bothering me. (Although it's much better than it was at the beginning of the month.)  

First world problems right?  There is so much I COULD and SHOULD be grateful for.  I think of the war in the Ukraine, refugees who struggle to reach our border, illness...Do I really have ANY problems?

I wanted to be in the holiday spirit, but try as I might, I just couldn't get there.  I usually get into that Hallmark Holiday Movie mom mode...sort of. This year I just couldn't.  (It didn't help that the Hallmark network didn't really show any of my "favorites" from previous years...nor did any of the other usual suspects.) I may have allowed myself a bit of joy when the boys and I drove up to my true place of peace, Skytop for a holiday lunch the day before my knee bollixed everything up, but it was all too fleeting.

But then some holiday magic DID least in my head as I realized late Christmas Eve and continued into Christmas day that while this was NOT going to be the holiday I wanted, despite all the challenges there were moments of hope, joy, peace and love.  They could be small and subtle, like standing next to my son at a church we do not usually attend on Christmas Eve night and singing carols. Moments that made me smile as the choir director at our church stood before us and lead us along with a beautiful string quartet in "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring"  (The happiness and joy in his face was undeniable.)  Or my cousin leaving the gift of holiday flamingos (Santa and a reindeer) on my front doorstep. 

(It's a thing for me.) Realizing that it is actually BETTER to go see my dad AFTER Christmas so that I can bring him some of the ham and fixings that I made on Christmas night.  The letter from the college that my son has been accepted to, offering him a merit scholarship over 4 years.  (My son?  A merit scholarship?!)  Having coffee (really good coffee that I special ordered from Coffee Tyme as a holiday gift for my husband as they have the BEST French Vanilla) with my husband (while the teen was still fast asleep) and watching CBS Sunday Morning which was chock full of feel good stories that I really needed to see and hear.  Not one, but two pairs of socks (one from my hubby and one from a friend) that reference wine.  And of course a glass (or two) of Santa's Little Helper.  (I won't mention the Sheelin Advent Calendar that I've been enjoying for 12 days...why don't the make the Raspberry Cheesecake in FULL sized bottles?  If they do and I've missed it...Let me know!)

This wasn't a good Christmas.  There was some arguing.  (Isn't there always?  Be honest).  Mostly it was a mellow Christmas.  One where I took things slowly (including the unwrapping of gifts) and maybe even relaxed.  A relaxed Christmas?  That's okay.  

This is not the Christmas that I wanted, but perhaps it was what I needed.  

As it ends, maybe it's time for me to start envisioning what happens next year and embracing whatever that might mean.

Merry Christmas to all...


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