Today was to be the day! Went to a couple of craft stores and got in the “spirit” of Christmas. Or so I thought until I pulled out the ornaments. But I was going to trudge through. I put some Trans-Siberan Orchestra on Spotify, took the Dr. Seuss characters off the tree, and began to decorate. I was doing fine until I got to “them”.
“Them” is my ornaments my children have made. Almost all the decor for the tree is full of 26 years of memories and ministry, but the ones the kids made touch me in a special way. Probably because we have entered the empty nest years and I realize the days of all of being together on Christmas will become less of an annual event and more of an every other year occasion. And I cried!
When I look at the memories my son has given me through pictures used to create the trimmings of the tree, I realize how much has changed. He has grown and is a dad with a young son, struggling to provide for his family. He lives too far away that hearing his voice is the best we can do right now.
My daughter is entering her last semester of college and I cry tears as she looks to the awesome future ahead of her. Her research (as an undergrad from this summer) is going to be published. Her future is bright with lots of possibilities ahead. Yet she is a applying to graduate schools that will take her out of state probably, and so I know the transition will happen again next year.
Christmas tears are nothing new to me. All the trappings evoke memories that I tried this year to not let out, but to no avail. For lots of years, I really didn’t enjoy Christmas as a youth due to the death of my grandma several days before Christmas. So at a young age, I always knew there was more promise to this time of year than tears. But it is easy to get lost in all of the glistening lights and colorful decor. That is what I was hoping for this afternoon, yet it was not going to happen.
So, I will finish with the tree, continue to listen to the music, say prayers of thanks and prayers of intercession as I decorate and claim that is enough for now as I shed the Christmas tears.