I made the mistake of looking through old photo albums last week. I say “mistake” because this deterred me a couple of hours away from my objective: finding a particular photo among scads of them. It only took 3 minutes to find it. The other 2 hours were revisiting memory lane.
That explains why it has taken me almost 4 years to get moving on a surprise project for our kids that I wanted to do as soon as I retired. Now there are 2 such projects in the works, making my office look like I have a PhD instead of an Associate degree. (Smart people without PhD’s will know what I’m talking about.)
The photo albums invoked so many emotions. Christmas’s past ran the spectrum from happy to heartbreaking. “Visitation right” conflicts, court orders and angry feelings would go with the holidays like a black cloud. I began to dread the holidays instead of looking forward to them. Christmas had become an emphasis of our inability to be together as a whole family.
Then, a friend helped me see the light. She must have been sick of my lamenting and whining because she sat me down and told me that I had the power to make any day Christmas, it did not have to be the court controlled 25th of December, but any day we could all be together.
And so, the “tree trimming” party came into being. A weekend in early December when everyone happened to be home. Often we had an open house, inviting close family & friends, making and eating snacks. Laughing a lot.
The kids made ornaments and decorated cookies, trying to out-do each others creations. Some were so creative we should not hang them on the tree, but we did anyway. We played games in the dinning room instead of having a “real” dinner. We only turned the TV on if the 49ers were playing, or we were having Tetris Wars.
Now the kids are grown and hubby and I are grandparents. I love being able to watch the old Christmas “specials” again, have cookie decorating help and this year we have an Elf Bowling tournament going on. I haven’t had this much fun since tree-trimming party’s past.
Anyway – as I wrap up my long overdue project, and finish my celebration happy dance, I remember that this Christmas is only 20 days away and I have only a million things to do, and less than 3-weeks to do them in. That was just one sentence, proving how busy and in a hurry I am getting. Taking a deep breath…
Only our Lord knows what the Christmas Future holds. But I do know I will be feeling love and happiness with no black clouds in sight!
A Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night.