It's 8 days until Christmas and I'm feeling a little blue. This year won't be a traditional Christmas for me. I don't like it when my normal routine is disturbed and this year, it's already started out weird.
I love Christmas and having all of my children and grandchildren around, but that hasn't happened for years now. Since my kids are all grown and have families of their own, they make plans that don't always include us. It makes me sad. I guess I'm stuck in the Walton world.
If only things could be the way I'd like them to be! I'd have a beautiful, snowy Christmas morning and after a quick breakfast, I'd hear a knock at the door. I'd open it and one of my children would be there - hugs, smiles, and laughter would ensue. As we'd usher in each family group, the house would be filled with chatter. It would feel cozy and warm. My heart would swell with excitement. I'd need no other gift than the gift of presence - their presence, which I am already missing this year.
My middle daughter came to celebrate an early Christmas with us yesterday and while it was nice, it was odd. It was too quiet and quick. I felt lonely and disappointed when they left and wanted a do over, but I won't get it.
I won't get to see my oldest son at all this year. He and his family will gather at their house and have their own celebration. I miss them so much and wish we could see them, but am trying my best to understand I have to let go.
My oldest daughter lives in Texas. It's too far for them to come home to be with us. We'll probably get a FaceTime call sometime on Christmas day, but it's not the same. I miss them, too.
I do have a consolation prize, however. My youngest daughter will join us for Christmas this year. At least I'll have one of my kiddos with us on the actual day and that will help things feel a little more normal, but it'll still be different.
I guess I should be happy I'll have one child with me. There are so many of my friends who'll be spending Christmas alone this year. I can't even begin to imagine what that feels like. My heart goes out to them.
Why do our expectations seem to be so high at Christmas? I don't like it, not one little bit.
I'll do my best to smile and be happy on the outside this holiday, but on the inside, I'll be crying.
Sometimes I wonder if something is really wrong with me. When I got married and had my family, I always made a special effort to go over and visit my parents on Christmas day. It was a joyous time of celebration and we made so many precious memories with my siblings and their families. Why do kids not value that sense of family any more?
Our world is so different these days.
I can't help thinking of Jamie Lee Curtis in the movie, Christmas with the Kranks. Her husband, Tim Allen, talks her into taking a vacation for Christmas since their daughter won't be able to come home for the holidays. After pondering it, she finally agrees. As her excitement builds and she prepares for the trip, she gets a big surprise. Her daughter calls with a change of plans. Immediately, she shifts gears and tries to pull together all of the familiar traditions she loves. It ends up being a neighborhood effort to bring a sweet holiday to fruition and maybe that's what I'm secretly hoping for...
My husband keeps telling me to take one day at a time, but it's so hard. He asked me earlier today what I wanted for Christmas. I told him I don't need a thing. The blues have hit me hard this year. I don't want anything for Christmas except my family all together under one roof. Is that too much to ask?
And while I'm being a whiney little brat, I can't help but think about two friends of mine. One's father has just found out his cancer from over 20 years ago has come back. The other, who was diagnosed the same year as me, has had to fight continually for the past 9+ years. She's gone through so much and is still having difficulty. I'm sure both of them would wish for wellness this Christmas and I'd love to see them get it, but I still want my family around me. I can't help it. I need them.
I don't want to be this way, really, I don't. Christmas isn't about what I want. It's about Jesus, but it sure would be nice to celebrate His birth with the ones I love. Maybe next year.