Reviewing Christmas. Wait. We had Christmas?

The whole thing was a big blur. And I got just one word, y’all.

Whew.

I don’t know about y’all, but it seems to me that every year that goes by, it gets a little harder to do the whole holiday thing. I suppose it’s old age creeping in. I can remember wondering how my grandmother could be content with nothing but a tiny ceramic tree for her Christmas decor. I, on the other hand, have always gone overboard. Tons of presents, a tree bursting with ornaments, Santa Claus figures and candles on every available surface, lights strung outside, Christmas dishes and place settings permantently set out on the dining room table, wreaths hung over the mantel and over the kitchen sink, well, you get the idea.

This year it was all I could do to stick up the tree and wrap a measly number of presents. I reckon I’m getting old.

For many reasons, it just didn’t seem like Christmas.

It was the year of “firsts’ for me. It was the first time I’ve ever had to work on Christmas Day. I know a lot of folks have to work on Christmas, and I hate to sound like a whiney-butt about it, but it was pure tea awful, y’all. On top of that, my husband had to work Tuesday night before Christmas and Thursday day (Christmas Eve) which gave him a grand total of a half a day on Wednesday to enjoy his holiday. Into that half a day we had to fit in having my mother in law and her delightful little bichon, Heidi, over for dinner and exchanging presents.

Since we both had to work Christmas Day, we pretended the 24th was Christmas so we had the kids over for a quick gift exchange before we all headed over to my mother’s home for a traditional Christmas dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, southern style collards, oyster dressing, gingered cranberry sauce, corn and chocolate cake.

Another first – it was the first year we decided not to exchange presents at my mom’s house. Definitely easier on everyone, but, well, it didn’t feel like Christmas.

Since my middle son has moved his little family, including my precious grand daughter to another state hundreds of miles away, it was also the first Christmas, since I became a mother of three sons, that I didn’t have all of my boys together. And that hurt with an intensity that was surprising to me. I would find myself, in odd moments, welling up with tears. Like now.

On the other hand, my youngest son has been home on his Christmas break and I really enjoyed an afternoon of last minute Christmas shopping with him, which included buying a marked down, last one on the shelf Christmas tree for my oldest son and daughter in law. They didn’t have time to put up a tree, since they’ve been a little busy with the new baby!, so we brought one to them as a last minute surprise.

And that, for a few minutes, felt a little bit like Christmas, y’all.

Finally, it was the first Christmas with the new baby, our grandson, Kole. Just a month old and so tiny, he was a gentle reminder of what the season is all about.

I hope all of y’all had a good Christmas this year. Mine was a mixed bag. Sad at times mixed with extreme happiness. I’m happy I have a great husband, who loves me through my ups and downs. I’m happy I have a job, even though it makes me work weird hours. I’m happy I have my health, even though I’m starting to feel like a grandma. And I’m happy for every single moment I got to spend with my loved ones.

Especially the littlest ones.

Advertisements

CHRISTMAS GIVING

img_0050

This poem was written by my grandmother, Gladys Parker. She passed away this year, on October 23, at the young age of 96. This will be my first Christmas without her. It still doesn’t seem possible to me that she is really gone.

A talented woman, and a great southern lady, she left behind a large collection of poetry. In this poem, she reminds us why we give gifts to one another, and urges us to remember why we should continue to celebrate Christmas.

The “hustle and bustle” of Christmas
Is floating in the air,
Christmas shoppers – shopping
Traffic everywhere.

The tree has been selected
And trimmed all in blue;
Affix the angel at the top
Yes, that will surely do!

Sing in perfect harmony
The song, “O Holy Night”,
While placing gifts with care
Around the tree of lights.

Now, remember the familiar scene
Of Mary, Joseph and the Infant King;
The wise men with gifts and treasures
At this humble place in Bethlehem.

The shepherds left their sheep
And came from hills above;
To worship their Savior
In adoration and love.

The giving of gifts is special
Let there be love and peace on earth;
As we go about this season
To celebrate His birth.