This year Christmas is different for me. I had planned on having a good chunk of money to spend, but then an un-anticipated move happened and I had to spend the money on storage, bills related to sharing an apartment and other moving expenses. This forced me to take a step back and evaluate the holiday.
After talking to my daughter and daughter-in-law one household is getting a zoo pass for the family, the other cash to put towards a bill. Practical, smart, helpful. I’m not buying for anyone else as the money isn’t there, and that is okay.
Once mom died I learned that no amount of money and gifts make the holiday better. People do. Family. In the year leading up to mom’s last Christmas this lesson began. Nothing we could buy for her seemed to matter. She could no longer eat things she loved, she was losing weight fast so clothes were hard to buy in the right size and we knew she really didn’t need anything. If she wasn’t in her pajamas she was in loose fitting things that kept her tube that drained her stomach hidden from view and didn’t bind her waist and make that contraption uncomfortable for her. I learned that time together is what mattered. Talking, making memories over coffee in our arm chairs or curled up on her bed when she was too tired to come downstairs. That is what mattered most. She made us each a gift, a printed, framed picture of something she said to us frequently, “the landscape of your life is constantly changing”…it will look very different a year from now. It always inspired us to hang in there and not get upset when big changes happened because the bad times (and good) wouldn’t last forever. It hangs up on the wall in my room now to remind me of this truth.
This year could not feel less like Christmas. Oh the decorations are there, the music, the fun shirts and socks, but something just is off. Most of my life is in storage, I’m in the third place in less than a year as far as homes, it is like spring time outside, and I’m missing mom more this year than last. What. The. Heck. My sister and I went to the family Christmas Eve party at my uncle’s. Last year felt like going through the motions and we were apprehensive because we just didn’t know what to feel with it being the first time mom wasn’t there. This year has been hard. Really hard. I just miss her so much more and it hurts so much. Things are really raw right now. Keeping to traditions was difficult but this was one so we went to the family shindig. I am so glad we did.
When we arrived home it was jammies, popcorn and It’s A Wonderful Life. This has been a Christmas Eve tradition, with few exceptions, for a long time. We got to bed after midnight but that was okay, it was worth it. That movie always puts things into perspective for me. Not only has my existence mattered, but true wealth is not at all in money and things but rather in people.
Today I am just staying home. I could go to my son’s and then my daughter’s but honestly I just want to be home. Sporting mid-calf leggings a fun Christmas shirt, and sipping my peppermint mocha coffee, crocheting and watching Hallmark movies. I’m so in need of this time of self care and what better day to do it than on the day we commemorate the birth of Jesus.
Merry Christmas to you and your’s!