Christmas when the family grows and is gone.

The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! I like to enjoy the celebration part of the holidays, keeping the holiday cheer, without overdoing it and turning it into holiday stress. And since it is a long holiday season, somewhere about midstream I began to fade a little and lose some of my jubilance. The thing is that in my mind’s eye, I make plans to do so many things that I lose my focus and do fewer things. I’d like to do some things this year and maybe not do other things and see if I can get a different outcome.

The children are grown, adults now, and have left home, are well into their own lives with their own children and families. When they were young children I liked the idea of a big tree with lots and lots of decorations, not particularly themed, but particularly full. We have now a big artificial tree and the years of decorations. One Christmas I remember we took 2 days to put up the tree, a week to decorate it and the house looked so fantastically Christmas. There were no visitors to our home that year and somehow so much bling seemed kind of lonely, sad and overmuch without the full house of children.

The next year we bought a smaller, slimmer tree and I put on much fewer decorations. In fact, did not even unpack the boxes and boxes of stored Christmas ornaments and decor. Last year I found what I call one of those artificial ‘Northern Exposure’ kind of Christmas tree or could also be called ‘Pacific Northwest’ kind of Christmas tree. Three trunks side by side with branches, and overall skinny, not taking up very much room.

We had my mother stay with us last holiday – Thanksgiving to Christmas. Had many festive outings planned, but those plans got nixed and cancelled with the early December storm of the century we had here last year. They don’t use the word hurricane, but it was hurricane force winds at 140 mph or more over 2 days. Mom is in her 70s now, and was a real trooper throughout the storm and the long winter days that followed in clean up. It was rather an unforgettable holiday season.

This, a year later, and well we will have our usual winter wind and rain storms or more of the ‘big ones’, but I plan to go into this holiday season with high and joyful thoughts. It’s taken about a decade, but I’m adapting to the reality that our children are grown and gone, involved with their own families, and it’s just the two of us now. It will be a happy holiday as we find new traditions for how we want to spend the holidays.

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