December 26, 2011

Christmas Gifts



If I am honest, I have to admit that I had a hard time with Christmas this year.  

A lot of things were on my mind and stressing me leading up to the big day and I found it hard to get into the mood at all until just a few days before hand.  Christmas was different this year, too, and I spent a good deal of yesterday wallowing in self-pity.  

My son is married and we've become accustomed to sharing him and his family with his in-laws, so that wasn't it.  We actually had a very nice day with him, his wife, and our granddaughter on Christmas Eve.

It was a combination of a daughter who is now grown and spent only a couple of hours here....preferring to spend the day with her boyfriend and his family....a husband who spent the whole afternoon sleeping because his back hurt, a step-father who left after dinner because he'd rather read his newspapers (and maybe because he was a little sore from a fall he took in the morning), an 86-year-old aunt who criticized everything and everyone (not the personality she used to have) and as she left to go back to the nursing home commented that she wouldn't be back ever again because getting around was too much trouble, and a mom who had to take the aunt back and then went home to her husband.

I spent a huge chunk of the day sitting by myself with plenty of time to think about all the things that have changed and how I'm not thrilled with those changes.  Christmas has always been a huge family deal my whole life and I'm not taking the change from that well.  I was lonely and sad and felling like I was being forced into being an old person before my time and nobody seemed to care.

The pit I dug myself was deep.

So, that is why I need this exercise, this intentional counting of small blessings today.  I need to mine each and every one of them and pile them one on top of the other to build a staircase out of the hole.  I need to squeeze and milk every last gift out of the days....

41.  Christmas bonuses that arrive in time to allow the purchase of gifts.
42.  A son who got medical care early enough to stop a septic infection in its tracks.
43.  A son who was released from the hospital in time to celebrate Christmas.
44.  Shiny ornaments decorated with a granddaughter's "paw print."
45.  A daughter that talks to me at all....I know too many who are estranged from theirs.
46.  An over-abundance of delicious, special holiday dishes.
47.  Family that didn't complain that the amount of gifts given was lower....and appreciated and enjoyed what they did get.  
48.  Finding that one "perfect" thing for everyone.
49.  A granddaughter who is healthy and happy.
50.  Granddaughter and hound as constant companions.
51.  Grumpy relatives who are still with us.
52.  Cell phones that let us talk to far away relatives for mere pennies.
53.  Waking to the soft glow of Christmas lights (we leave them on all night Christmas Eve).
54.  Sunshine, brilliant blue sky and mild temperatures at the end of December.
55.  A God who loved us enough to become flesh and die so we might live.

4 comments:

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

We had a nice Christmas at my brother's house, two hours from here. I think it was the first time in our marriage that Brad was super comfy there.

It made me wistful for a better relationship with his family. But since they continue to treat him in a shoddy way, I'm praying for his relationship with the them to improve.

He goes to see them next weekend, they're squeezing him in. I am staying home to go into work and take the decorations down.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

((HUGS))

Rochelle@AFamilyofLooneys said...

Sending you hugs my friend.

dundee1964 said...

STACY!!!! You're not supposed to leave the lights plugged in when you're in bed!!! I had a hard time with Christmas spirit too but these Christmases still beat the ones I had growing up. My dad would go to the bar for the evening and my mom would sit, by herself after my brother and I got old enough to leave to be with friends. Autumn said hers was the best ever. Her first with a boyfriend/fiance. Thanks. Thanks a lot. lol

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