Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. It's always held such excitement and expectation. Until four years ago. Now, for me, it's a mixed bag of emotions.
It's still my favorite time of year. I love to sit and watch the twinkling lights on my tree. Christmas music is the best music of all, in my opinion. I enjoy the challenge of finding gifts to suit the people on my list. I get a thrill out of watching the same Christmas movies repeatedly throughout the season. I treasure the time my family spends together reading our books from the Advent calendar. I love all the festivities that surround the season. None of that has changed.
But four years ago, some things did change. And I'm still processing the changes. And still filling the void. Mark and I used to host a Christmas party for our core group of friends. Those people are no longer in our lives. I used to be heavily involved in our church's Christmas program. It's a whole different scenario now. My kids used to spend one of the Christmas holidays with their friends (my core group of friends' children) making a Christmas craft. My kids don't even remember those kids now.
I'm processing loss and change. The past four Christmases have left me kind of wondering if I'll settle into a Christmas routine again. Each of the past four have been so different. It's like we're still trying to see what fits us. And where we fit. We have no real expectations for Christmas anymore. Our calendar is full of things to do, places to be...but there's still a sense of insecurity. It's like we're living in a bit of a Christmas limbo.
We're ready for routine. Expectation. Excitement. An unspoken knowing of what's to come. All of those...without the underlying sense of loss. It'll be interesting to see what this Christmas season holds, and to be able to look back in a few years. I wonder if this year will be the beginning of something new.