I had one of the best Christmases in recent memory. For sure the best one in the last eleven years. Not because of what did, or did not, happen, but because I made up my mind to be in the present for this holiday. It is amazing how far practicing a little “letting go” goes.
Having made up my mind to let go the past, and to stop trying to fit the present into the mold of yesteryear, I woke up Christmas Eve day with anticipation rather than dread. Our plans were not firm at the start of the day, except for the coffee we have together every morning. We created them as we went.
I made homemade spaghetti for Christmas Eve dinner—one of Hubby’s favorites. We ended up at the local festival of lights where we took a horse drawn carriage ride, and then rode the ferris wheel up over it all. Then it was off to the eleven o’clock candle light service at church where we sang Christmas hymns and carols. And not once did I feel that aching loneliness that I have had for over a decade.
Christmas morning was again coffee, together. Then hubby presented me with the gifts he had gotten for me, even though I had repeatedly told him, “No gifts, not for me, this year.” Of course he didn’t listen and really blessed me with some lovely things.What is it about all my Charles Dickens quotes this year anyway?!? Click To Tweet
We texted “Merry Christmas” to kids, and family, and friends, and we spoke to a couple of our children. Then it was off to the movies to see “The Last Jedi,” which was worth the watch for sure. I don’t remember ever going to the movies on Christmas before, and sort of always pitied those who did, thinking it was because they were part of that lonely brigade who didn’t have family and friends to celebrate with. Now I see how wrong I was to make that judgement. It was really fun to go to the movies with my husband on Christmas.
Then it was home to just relax. I did make a nice dinner, but I didn’t bake one single thing. (Those of you who know me—you know what a feat that was!) No special treats or desserts. Just the dinner, and it only took an hour to prepare. Of course we stuffed ourselves. It WAS a holiday, after all, and calls for feasting.
We spent the day in quiet harmony with each other, with the reason for the season, and both of us thoroughly enjoyed it.
Did I miss my family? Yes. Did I ache with loneliness and compare this holiday to every other one that came before it and find it lacking? Definitely not. I felt blessed and happy and very content.
I do not know what next year’s Christmas will hold. Perhaps it will be everything I’ve been longing for—encompassed by family. I do know that I will hold the holidays and the activities surrounding them loosely, and allow them to be fluid. I will not cling to “Christmas Past” (What is it about all my Charles Dickens quotes this year anyway?!?) in a way that causes suffering, but will keep moving forward into my life, not allowing the past to inform the shape of my present. And I will be thankful—full of gratitude for the healing that just keeps coming, even when I don’t always realize I need it.