This is the first year in several years that we've put up a tree and/or really done much Christmas decorating at all. Since retiring we've often been traveling or celebrated Christmas outside of our home. I kind of resisted the whole decoration idea again this year but decided that since we will be entertaining family and friends over the holidays, it would be a nice thing to do:) - for them and for us.
A medium sized tree now sits decorated in our living room a-swirl with memories built into each ornament.....-handcrafted (my hands) Chrismons of white and gold pearl, along with cross stitching, church bazaar wooden handmade/hand painted animals; little bells, animals and photos gathered over the years as gifts and remembrances of our children's childhoods, a Christmas ball that plays young voices saying Merry Christmas Grandma and Grandpa, needlepoint decorations made by a beloved Grandmother now gone - all the Grandmothers and Grandfathers now gone, the aunts and uncles that always gave us gifts, they're gone too.
Ornaments for the animals - a Sheltie and a Westie - our beloved Sheltie Andy is gone this year, Riley still keeps us laughing but typically when remembering it's easy to slip into imagining how it will feel when he's gone too.........memories of Kat Mandu and gorilla man Sam slip into my mind as well.
But enough lumps in the throat - how about a little Christmas music - WHY did I think buying an album of Michael Buble crooning holiday songs would be fun? I felt like weeping for one reason or another as each one came up - "I'll be Home for Christmas" - "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" - "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" - oh my goodness White Christmas reminds me of high school assemblies with us dreamily singing and all swaying together in our best Bing Crosby style!!
This a.m. stating/questioning loudly(?) or perhaps too "enthusiastically" to my husband (poor man) is how can I feel low this time of year? I who have so much to give thanks for, I that have help in preparations, I that still have a mate strong and loving, I that still have children and grandchildren that I adore, I that have a beautiful home and on and on and on...........NOT TO MENTION or forget, I that still believe there was a Christ born on some unknown date 2000+ years ago - I that take comfort in knowing there is a loving God - how can I feel low????
This is to say that with all good intentions and desires to be in the present and to only think of the birth of Christ, human life gets in the way and there's a LOT of sadness surrounding my desire to "celebrate Christmas." It might have been perfect when I was 10, or under, maybe or under was the best - but now I know that there are too many people pretending to be happy, too many families living in poverty and sorrow, too many old people alone and afraid - and if I possess a little decency, those issues and people cannot be just swept under the proverbial rug. Remembering often and helping others where I can - maybe, probably, I'm pretty sure - that's the rejoicing that Jesus would have me do! Yep, I think so, yep, I'm pretty sure!