I'm getting close to being ready.
The operative word here is "close."
Not there completely but close...
Close to being ready for what you say?
I thought you'd never ask!
Christmas, of course!
*My two amazing daughters arriving from Honduras and Houston (one with her equally amazing hubby and one flying solo this time)
*My youngest grandchild along with them, descending upon our house like a unleashed chatterbox. I look forward to her squeals of delight and even her two-year-old tantrums; our house literally comes alive when she is here and the days' activities definitely revolve around her
*My extended family gathering at my home, with all their craziness, big love, loudness & laughter
*Our annual Christmas dinner with my three besties at a local restaurant...this year it's Carrabba's, one of my favorites!
*The joy of gift-giving (albeit ever so humble at my house)
*The times of remembrance and focusing on the birth of the Christ-child
*Moments to sit silently and ponder life while twinkling lights magically surround me with a hot cup of something wonderful to drink
*The many smells and delicious meals coming out of my kitchen lovingly prepared with my girls (they are much better cooks than me!)
*The preparing of my meatloaf and sourdough French Toast for my great son-in-law
(not together though!)
These are just a few of my favorite things at Christmas. But as I look forward to them, I also feel a tinge of sadness at what will not be this Christmas. My son and his family will not be with us this year. They are moving the week before Christmas and, well, need I say more? And then there is the fact that my dear mother will not be with us as well. While wrapping gifts today, I pulled a tag from a Christmas bag I was re-using and it had her last year's birthday wishes to the aforementioned youngest great-grandchild of the family (her birthday is right after Christmas). My heart sank as I remembered this will be my first Christmas without Mama, and that grandchild will never know the joy, the love, the laughter that was my mother. My mother was the loudest of all at family gatherings; you never knew what she might say that could cause us all to erupt in boisterous laughter!
So as I wrap gifts, clean house, change bed linens, and buy groceries for the most festive time of the year, I carry a tinge of sadness that things will not be perfect this year. And even though we all want the holidays to be perfect, we know that they never really are, and never really can be. All around us people are hurting and lonely. As much as we wish they would, problems don't cease to exist around holidays but, in fact, many times are amplified. So Christmas is not only a time of rejoicing in our present and momentary happiness, but a time of remembering others and doing for others. It is a time of not just the giving of gifts, but the giving of a piece of our hearts. It's reaching out to others that really makes Christmas complete -- certainly not perfect, but somehow complete.
But in case you think I have fallen into a deep dark state of despair, let me set the record straight. Christmas is, hands down, my most favorite time of year and it brings great joy to me and I am truly looking forward to it. The birth of Christ is the best reason ever to rejoice and celebrate -- the hope of the world in human form! But if you are like me, you know that extreme happiness never comes without a price. And at Christmas, that price is the tightrope upon which my heart teeters...trying to keep the balance of exuberant joy in the blessings, all the while not able to forget those who have left us and remembering those who are still here but trying to survive their pain through the holidays.
Posted by CC
I love to write; you love to read...let's share!