by Syd Brinkman
This blog should have been written a few weeks ago if it were to be helpful in any way. I was busy. I was shopping in stores. I was online shopping. I was decorating at home and church. I was attending the granddaughters’ Christmas programs.
I spent time with my parents who live further away now. I was busy. I am the parish administrator in the Advent season. I am a professional using my gifts for others during other times of the day.
I am quite sure this is a familiar scenario for most.
In all the busyness I’ve not baked one seasonal goodie. I’ve barely had an evening meal with my husband (our schedules don’t match most times). I have Christmas storage totes to put away so that holiday guests can see their way to the beds. I have cleaning to do. I have wrapping to begin.
No family at Christmas
I told a room full of women today that I know everyone is excited to have their family come home on Christmas Day, but frankly, I’m glad mine aren’t. That’s a change for me after 35 plus years, and I’m now okay with it.
I wasn’t a couple of years ago, but my daughter and family gave me a mixed blessing when they declared they would spend the day with her father-in-law. My daughter’s family had a special mother, mother-in-law, grandmother who passed away in the fall a couple of years ago, and so holidays would change at least for the first year.
Pity party for one
I understood completely, and I would happily comply. Christmas Day has always been our family get together day though, and I soon found out that first Christmas Day how lonely I was. I had a pity party for myself all day. I thought I would be okay, and I wasn’t. Even when my husband suggested a plan for the day, I preferred to stay home and feel sorry for myself.
Our family planned its gathering for the weekend after Christmas. The kids came home, and we had a lovely time complete with family friends and a relaxed weekend.
The plan that we get together on the weekend after Christmas stuck, and I can now fully embrace the change. It was a mixed blessing to be sure, but we have gifted each of our daughters their own Christmas-day excitement with their families, and isn’t this how traditions begin?
On Christmas Day, I will wrap the gifts and prepare for my family’s homecoming. I won’t bake that day, and no one will be surprised. We will have enough–enough memories to last a lifetime or at least into the new year!
Syd Brinkman served on the churchwide executive board from 2009-2014. Photo by Bruno Joseph from Pexels