My husband does not know this yet, but he gave me the best Christmas gift a month early, way back at Thanksgiving. A day or two after the big family feast, he said rather off-handedly, “You did good, babe. It really felt like Thanksgiving.”
We have been married fourteen years, and these last few have brought unprecedented fundamental changes, scary ones. Maintaining sanity and a sense of ongoing joy has been challenging at times, especially at the holidays. So what he said was probably the very best compliment he could have paid to me at that moment. An excellent early Christmas gift.
I probably don’t need to expound on the idea that as adults it’s the feeling of the holidays we’re chasing, even as we busy ourselves with traditions old and new. We are all trying to summon the best of childhood, the best of our imprinted ideals, the best of everything for our most precious people. It’s not just that we want certain stuff or foods; it’s that we all want to feel a certain way, and we have learned rituals to help us capture those feelings.
So we cook, decorate, shop, and prepare for the holidays. Maybe we berate each other too much for putting so much energy into this. So many guilt trips about materialism and excess. There is a middle ground, right? Everybody wants to eat, enjoy, remember, and live again those most prized feelings. We want so much to keep them going, alive, moving though the generations. I keep thinking of the Olympic torch, you know? The opportunity and responsibility of passing along the flame, not allowing it to go out for lack of trying or because of outside quenching conditions.
This is a hard holiday for lots of people near and dear to us.
My heart goes out this Christmas. To so many people, in so many ways.
I miss our two girls differently and viciously. I ache deeply for our friend Jeff who lost his Mom just a few days ago. I am sad for my own parents who are coping with hardship in the generations both ahead of and below them. I cannot move through any holiday tradition without hurting for my husband whose childhood family will never be the same again.
And still so much joy! Still so many reasons to be more than happy… Hundreds of reasons to be truly, brightly grateful, both in childlike ways and in very adult, wise, lasting ways too. My heart goes out to so many people, maybe because life, despite life, is rich enough to nourish us, fatten us up and make our hearts big enough to share with each other. We are overwhelmingly blessed.
I hope that making it really feel like Thanksgiving carries over into our Christmas. And then into every important thing we need afterwards, in the new year.
I hope that whatever is going on in your life, whether it’s hardship or bliss, abundance or leanness, or maybe acute, terrifying grief, that you are able to feel the most important things. Fill your heart to the brim with gratitude. Accept Love when it is offered. Be connected.
Let your heart go out. Do not feel guilty about chasing traditions if they help you keep those best feelings alive.
Thank you for your early gift, Handsome. It was perfect. But yes I still want to open everything wrapped up under the tree. : )
Friends, thank you for stopping here to read! The Lazy W wishes you and yours a very Merry Christmas!