Christmas comes and goes, and I often look back and say " I missed Christmas"
I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way... we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday that we forget to slow down and enjoy the memories being made.
When I was growing up Christmas was THE holiday for our house!! my mom went all out. we had tons of gifts, a HUGE tree, put up on black Friday (earlier if she could talk my father into letting her put it up). it was a magical time in our house. I love the memories I have from my childhood Christmases.
My parents would wake us up at 5am and we would run downstairs, in our new jammies to see the living room lighted only by the Christmas tree and all the presents seemed like they were glowing under it. I have two sisters and we each had our own place for gifts under the tree, and right in front of our gifts would be the unopened gifts from Santa!! They were the 1st thing we would see, and although I knew they were from our parents it was still one of my favorite parts of our Christmas traditions. to sit down and look through what "Santa" had left for us, opening our stockings and finally after mom brought out the different muffins and breads for breakfast, her and dad would have a cup of Diet coke and Pepsi (lol no coffee for them) and we would settle in and one by one we would open our gifts.
we were not rich by any means, but there was always an abundance of gifts. my mom would buy throughout the year when she found deals and she even found things that we really wanted at thrift stores on occasion. we never cared where it came from, we just knew that our parents loved us and bought things for us that they knew we would love.
I miss those Christmases, and I strive to make my daughters the same way, but I still felt like I was "missing Christmas"...
Until I actually did miss a Christmas!
Two years ago when my father passed away on December 2nd. and our family truly felt what it meant to "miss Christmas"
My families life was shattered, we were struggling just to get day to day not even thinking about Christmas. My daughter kept asking if we were going to put up a tree, and I couldn't.. I couldn't even think about getting through the month, let alone dealing with gifts, parties and putting up a tree. I just didn't care!
I did come to my senses and 3 days before Christmas we put up our tree and wrapped the gifts I had bought before he passed, ad sent my hubby out to buy a few stocking stuffers and we were good to go....but my heart wasn't in it. we didn't play music all December, we didn't bake a ton of cookies, or spend time looking for gifts for all of our loved ones.
I missed the Joy of Christmas...
I missed the fellowship with family and friends..
I missed Christmas...
I made a HUGE effort to not do that again...to make every holiday count. to make memories that we can laugh over in the years to come, like we do about the memories we have with my father.
Christmas isn't just about the gifts and the lighted tree, its about spending time with your loved ones and making memories that will last a life time.
It is for sharing your faith and celebrating the birth of our Lord...it is for rejoicing that even in our grief, we are reassured that we will be with my father again one sweet day.
So for now I will make memories, I will live in the moment, I will slow down , and I will be present, and most importantly I will NOT miss another Christmas.
Christmas tree photo from www.inspiringwallpapers.net