Today is Christmas. What a difference one year makes. It has been a strange day in some aspects, not even feeling like Christmas at times. There is no snow and it is in the high 40s/50s (which I am not complaining about because I really do not like the cold, but it is strange for December); we just moved into a house, so there are no decorations up and we only did stockings, we did not do any presents; and the biggest standout strange part is of course not having mom this year. So it has been a very different Christmas.
Christmas is not my favorite holiday, though it is one I have always enjoyed and have some of the most fond memories of. Allow me to reminisce a little and tell you a few of my favorite Christmas memories.
One year my little brother and I both really wanted a game. I wanted hungry hippos; he wanted trouble. We were not typically "peekers" when it came to gifts around the house, but for some reason , this one year, we chose to peek in mom's closet and we saw what we were getting. Mom being mom, she somehow knew we'd done that. So on Christmas Eve when we were opening gifts, we were so excited to get our games . Imagine our surprise (and mom's cleverness) when we opened our gifts only to find mom had switched them. OUr mouths both dropped and we yelled "I'll trade you!" We must've been only like 7/9 or something there a bouts. But it is a Christmas memory that still makes me laugh.
My most favorite Christmas memory though is one year when our heat went out. Our furnace broke probably just a day or 2 before Christmas and no one could come out to repair it right away. It was a really cold Decemeber, too. So, we crashed out our best friends/neighbors home. However, we decided to go back to our home to open gifts Christmas eve. Mom put a blanket over our kitchen doorway, we turned on the oven and opened it for heat and we also had a small space heater. We all wore our coats and ate around a card table and opened gifts. I cannot tell you a thing that I got that year, and I really don't care-that is one of my favorite Christmas memories by far. My mom (and dad) always made things positive, no matter how crazy the situation was.
I had some really precious Christmas' growing up. Now that I am an adult, new traditions begin taking place. But this year everything about it was different. It has been exhausting both emotionally, missing mom and getting through this first one without her, as well as physically, working full time and moving without taking any time off. The kids have been amazing, though. They haven't cared about opening gifts. The deal is this year we are going to all go out and just choose one thing, with very little limitations. I will be getting a new pair of running shoes. It's all just different.....
I held up pretty well, though, all things considered, but of course I had my moments of crying, too. But there were plenty of moments to laugh as well. And enjoy waking up in a house. :) Goodbye apartment life...I will not miss you :)
Last year at this time, we knew it was going to be our last Christmas with mom. She was fighting hard, but cancer was beginning to take its toll. Mom came home from the hospital on Christmas eve and we celebrated as a family the day after Christmas. Some very dear friends came in and made the entire dinner for us so we could just enjoy the evening together. They made all our favorites and they really lavished their love on us. Mom was wore out, but we saw her smile too. We were blessed to have friends take care of us-they even made all of mom's special recipe cookies and did an amazing job. It was a day I held tightly to and will have good memories of forever.. I will end this blog with some pictures from last year. I did not take any this year, as I said...it was just different. But some new traditions were started, too. So we keep moving forward, all the while still remembering.
So, Merry Christmas, friends. I am thankful to each of you who read this...and know that your support means so much to me. There will still be monumental days to make it through, but God is good and continuing to prove faithful as He promised. One day at a time, we keep moving forward....