Christmas is only a few days away. A barrage of holidays sights, smells and sounds remind us that we are in the last leg of the Christmas Preakness. Turn the television on, walk into a store, pass a whistling stranger on the street and the Christmas tunes you hear take on a frantic tempo. If you haven’t finished your gift list and you plan on waiting until the last minute to shop, you are nuttier than Aunt Mable’s fruitcake.
Hi. My name is Jan and I’m nuttier than Aunt Mable’s fruitcake. Yes, I haven’t finished shopping. Over the past five or so years, I’ve become lazier and lazier when it comes to gift shopping. At times my family has received gift cards or cash in lieu of presents because their mother had not reached the level of craziness needed to fight through the last-minute shopping crowds at the mall.
This year was supposed to be different. I bought gifts around the first of December. However, as the holiday creeps closer and closer, I keep thinking of things I’d like others to have. Christmas craziness is invading my mind. Maybe the malls won’t be that crowded. Maybe the lines won’t be that long. Maybe Santa won’t smell like roasted pork and Old Forester. Maybe I’ll find a parking space right up front. Maybe it will snow candy flakes. Maybe I’ll score an elf to do my shopping.
Typically by this time so close to the holiday, I’d just hand out gift cards with a “buy it yourself” note attached. But, I’m trying to overcome my usual Grinchy attitude. I’m trying to hold tight to the joys the season brings. I’m trying to keep the sadness of the second Christmas without my partner at bay. I’m trying not to cry when I think this will be the first Christmas in my life without my mother.
My withouts are heavy, but I’m able to share the burden of their weight. For some people, the holidays are not bearable. They are alone and the depth of their loneliness is too much to bear. I am fortunate because I don’t carry my sadness by myself.
My house is filling with the elements of joy. Presents are piling up. Christmas cards I’ve received are full of hope and rejoicing. Friends and family will start to fill my house as the weekend approaches. There will no time for silent sadness. For just a few days, there will be no room for withouts. There will only be room for withs.
My wish for you on Christmas is to embrace this time for fellowship with family and friends. Hear the joy and let it wrap you tight in its melodic arms. The link below is a video Christmas card I received from a friend. Let its message of peace embrace you.
Current enthusiasm is sharpening intangible knives and co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch