And so this is Christmas

This has been such an emotional week for the whole world I believe. I can’t stop crying and I think it’s worse because I am a mom and it breaks my heart, there’s no other way to say it. It just shatters my heart to pieces. I am trying not to read more and more about it, because it takes me in and I will be sitting on my sofa crying my eyes out, crying at church during the sermon, crying when my own kids come home from school so happy. Just crying.

I am also upset because this is the second Christmas without my grandparents and that makes me lonely. I sometimes think, ok I can do this, I can make it and then I’ll see or hear or smell something and I miss them so much it hurts.

My own pre-schooler is so into Christmas this year. I love that age, everything is still so magical and every bit of Christmas makes her face light up. She keeps telling me how many candles on the Advent wreath in Sunday School until Christmas. I want to bottle it, because that does not last forever, but it does make being a parent incredibly fun and fulfilling. Christmas is a magical, wonderous time when we gather together and we try to love each other and we get ready to welcome a new baby who changed the world. At Christmas people are kind and want to help each other and love each other and I think I would like to bottle that up too.

I need to live for those smalls glimmers of hope, because that is the only way to get by in this crazy world. Hope that tomorrow will be better, hope that when Eternity comes it will be all I imagined and more, hope my kids will grow to a ripe old age, hope that I will remember all these moments.

Memory frightens me because I am always forgetting things and I am so scared to lose my memories. I think I watched The Notebook too many times! But I keep journals and scrapbooks for me and my kids, I want them to remember things and I want them to keep the family history I have because no one has done that before.

These are my Christmas memories that I treasure:
-our cats knocking down my tree after my mom had it up, it had lots of old glass ornaments from her family and they all got smashed
-my nan had this expandable Santa reindeer decoration I loved ( and I tracked a reproduction down), she had the original elf on the shelf- he did just that, none of this crazy adventure like he does now and she had a few wooden ornaments on the tree like a drummer boy and santa and you pulled the string and their arms and legs moved- I loved those things
-one year I got a doll china cabinet with little skinny cutlery and the matching dining table, well mom went to bingo and dad let me unwrap it and play with it and didn’t re-wrap it so well, but it must have been hereditary because years later as a teen, my grandfather let me peek and play with my yellow Sony sports walkman, while my grandmother was out shopping; both of them could never keep a secret
-wearing velvet dresses to church on Christmas eve, I always wanted to, it seems so Victorian to me ( I was a history dork and still am) and when my dad remarried I finally did
-Christmas Eve church that started when my dad remarried and years after that I would go to midnight mass with my bestie and come out into the cold from the beautiful church and later than that I would worship in 300 year old churches with my husband and come out into the tropical night light up by the moon, Christmas Eve church is magical; my favorite part of Christmas
-Bad lead in but puking on my bib overalls. When I was maybe 4 I hated cordoroy overalls, I was a child of the 70’s and my mom put me in them always, so one Christmas, I must have been sick anyway, but I got sick all over a new pair of them. I remember that and I remember I got Strawberry shortcakes snail that pulled an ice cream stand and a real dollhouse.
-before my parents divorced and the whole family get messed up, Christmas was always at my grandmothers, she made a huge spread and had this awesome table cloth with little white pom pom balls on the edges that someone gave to her, I loved it and actually coveted it when I had my own house, she said she couldn’t give it to me because it was a gift to her and surprised me with my own. Sadly only a few years later, I did inherit her’s
-on our Christmas table there was always this long crystal dish with long celery and carrot sticks in it sitting in a bit of water and black olives. I never got it growing up and I don’t really now. We never ever had olives any other time. But one day after I had inherited the dish I was watching Tom and Jerry and I noticed in all their fancy table settings they have celery sticks and black olives (I just googled it and it’s called a relish tray, I guess they aren’t too popular these days), but I still have it and to me that was the height of fancy dinner growing up

My memories so far on this journey. It’s an amazing experience to be a mother at the holidays. I pray everyone has a nice safe holiday and make some great memories with your family.


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