Updated: Apr 14
“I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve,” my husband mentioned.
“I know right?”
“And I’m not in the Christmas Spirit,” he said.
I looked at him a little crazy, because we have had a good year and so much to be thankful about.
But I get it. His job requires him to travel around to stores. He’s been stuck in traffic and crowds of impatient people. He’s witnessed tempers flaring and constant rudeness.
He’s listened to me read the news headlines while we lay in bed at night. The headlines of a world filled with hate, evil, bickering and an extremely divided country that is erasing the meaning of “we the people”. The weight of the world is starting to bear down on the shoulders of many, especially those with children and grandchildren. We are left wondering what life will be like for our kids.
“Are you in the Christmas Spirit?” he asked.
“Yes, yes I am.”
Christmas Spirit looks differently for everyone. Sometimes it’s baking cookies, opening presents or singing carols. Maybe it’s watching classic movies or having a Hallmark addiction. It is candle lit services, cutting down a tree, and putting out a nativity set.
It’s hours spent outdoors untangling lights or just throwing a wreath on the door. It’s enduring family for extended periods or wishing that you had a family. Drinking hot cocoa or serving hot soup at the shelter. There are white Christmases and ones with palm trees. (I prefer the latter.)
It can be friends, long conversations and too much eggnog. Other times, it’s watching the sun set through a tiny window while machines beep in the background.
The Christmas Spirit is the accumulation of all the highs and lows throughout the years. A time of reflection as we prepare to close another chapter.
I’m going to remember this Christmas as the one with a half bare tree haphazardly decorated by a four year old. A four year old with a major dinosaur obsession and a nine month old that broke a lot of ornaments.
I smile as I look at our ornaments. The wedding cake that reminds me of fourteen Christmases married to the love of my life, nineteen together, and “man are we getting old?”
There’s the handmade ones with little fingerprints. A tiny bell I used to ring as a child. And the picture of my dad that I put up every year even when I didn’t want to. But this year was a little easier. The puppy ornament that reminds me of our beloved chocolate Labrador that we lost this year. She gave us fourteen great years.
I thought of the new friends we made and the laughs shared at our big family gatherings. We had another year with our parents, because time doesn’t slow down. This year, it’s a niece still here proving the doctor’s wrong.
It’s celebrating the holidays in a new house we didn’t deserve. I have a Christmas cactus that faithfully blooms each year despite severe neglect – the cactus that my husband gifted me during my toughest Christmas. This Christmas, it’s that extra stocking on the mantle, because God answered my prayers.
Most of all, it is two little boys with a brotherly love so pure -- it gives me hope for a fallen world.
“Christmas Vacation!” I shout.
“That will get you in the spirit.”
Nothing like watching a highly dysfunctional family to bring Christmas Cheer!
Merry Christmas Y ’all!