Wow! Holidays can be difficult, can’t they? The pain of absence runs deeper, and I know I’m not alone in reflecting on what’s lost while going through the motions of Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. But I love the spirit of continuing on and of creating new memories. And people tackle that in all manner of ways. For our family, it’s been a combination of holding to the former ways but doing new things as well. For instance, Christmas Eve was always about worship at church and time with extended family. Now it has become attending service and going out to a restaurant for dinner.
Within the past decade, as the children grew older, we incorporated more travel and sightseeing at Christmastime. It initially began as a distraction. Hurting family members sought relief from pain associated with the recent passing of a loved one. New York City somehow comforted us on two different occasions.
This year we took to the friendly skies and landed in Ireland for some adventure and travel. Once again, a getaway provided hope for consolation. And the Emerald Isle delivered! The sights, sounds, and experiences were breathtaking!
You can read about our Ireland trip here.
Back at home in time for Christmas, our little college student expected us to keep her childhood tradition of new pj’s on Christmas Eve! I must have done well because Jordan paid a high compliment on my choice for her: leggings and a school logo tee.
After the three of us had breakfast and exchanged gifts, Jordan and I began meal prep for our midday Christmas dinner. Having her help in the kitchen brought me tremendous joy, and I think we make a great team. An added bonus- everything turned out great!
The table was set and we awaited Jacob, Hannah, and Denise’s arrival. We’re so thankful that all of us live in the same area and can celebrate Christmas together.
I constantly reminded myself that I am grateful for those I do have in my life and the love we share. This helped me to refocus the nagging thoughts of who is missing, the thoughts aiming to steal the joy surrounding who is present. And isn’t that what Christmas is about- presence? God came and dwelt among us. Nothing more breathtaking than that truth!
Merry Christmas, friends! May your New Year be blessed with adventures and growth!