The holidays are always special to me and to my family. This year has been difficult for several reasons, chief among them, my parents' move from an established home to an apartment. They lost nearly 1500 square feet and tons more in storage space. That means paring down, handing down, giving away...and many, many moments of anguish as the decision is made for each piece. Who gets it? Who wants it? Is it worth anything? Does it have any use to anyone? Has it become junk?
As of last Friday, the decisions are made, the "old" house formally sold and a new life begun amid unpacked boxes, misplaced papers and missing silverware (which was, thankfully, found!). Christmas decorations are as buried as the silverware was and my very tired parents declared, "No Christmas this year. We just don't have the energy."
But when it comes to Christmas morning, I'm still a child. I'm often the first one up, still (although both my 20-something children woke my husband and I up at 6:00 am last year with the plea, "Please? Maybe Santa came!" And I love it!).
Because of my total enjoyment of the season of giving, today my husband and I took a (very) small pre-decorated (by me) artificial Christmas tree up to them. My mother's eyes lit right up at the thought of having a tree, even a fake white one with red ribbons and silver garland. She's German and, if they hadn't had one, this would have been the first time in 79 years that the holiday would go unremarked. She still tells the stories of going to bed on Christmas Eve and waking in the morning to a fully-decorated tree with the presents scattered under it. Santa Claus brought it all.
(Btw, my dad was appeased when I told him the tree was a loaner. I was coming back in a week to take it back home and put it in the box. He almost hugged me that he didn't have to find a place to store it.).
So I haven't been writing, I haven't been promoting, I haven't done much but spend time with my family. And I wish all of you the same: time with friends and family. Give them hugs, listen to their stories (again!), share a meal or a telephone call. Tell them you love them with your words and your actions and may peace be yours.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!