My daughter’s preschool Christmas program was last week, or as I like to call it, Hark! The Off-Key Angels sing. Because she attends a Presbyterian program, the theme was understandably religious. Her particular class did a series of songs revolving around “The Colors of Christmas.” What was most interesting to me was a song called “Black and Blue,” which is essentially a song that says it’s okay to feel depressed around the holidays. At first I found it strange because I love this time of year so much. But then I stopped to think about the people around me who struggle to keep up with my holly-jolly attitude.
Aside from my children, the two most important people in my life are my husband and my mother. And both of them drift into that blue aspect of Christmas. I have known this about them for as long as I can remember, although their troubles are for different reasons. My husband dealt with family issues around this time o f year that make it difficult for him to process Christmas as anything but a time to fight. As for my mother, had my father lived, they would have been celebrating 33 years together today. My grandmother would have been celebrating her 87th birthday today as well. It makes it a hard day to digest.
In addition, for reasons I cannot go into as they are not really my stories to tell, this year is even harder for the both of them. Sensing that, I have been trying to find ways to make things a little brighter for everyone by keeping us focused on the joy we have every in our lives and celebrating the family we have become.
We did not get out our store bought ornaments this year. Instead, my daughter has made all of the ornaments on our beautiful live tree. We have given homemade gifts from the kitchen infused with my daughter’s enthusiasm and my mother’s patience. We provided Christmas for several children who might not have had it otherwise by having my daughter select presents for them, hopefully planting the seeds of generosity and gratitude in her. And the next few days we have plans for family time, food, and thankfulness.
I love Christmas and always have, even though my mother has always dreaded it. I realized this year why. My grandmother loved this time of year—she loved the decorations, the religious services, the food, the family, the spirit. And even though I grew up with a single mother who more sadness than joy in the holidays, my grandparents, but my grandmother in particular, truly made it the most wonderful time of the year for me. I am so thankful for that and hope that I may pass that joy on, not just to my children, but to those who need it most, especially my friends and family. Thank you, Grandma. Happy birthday. I love and miss you.
To those who still read my ramblings, best wishes for a joyous holiday season. Find your joy and celebrate your blessings.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas.