Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Empty Nest But A Full Heart

Up until now, every Christmas Day that passed
seemed like the year before.
The tree, the lights, the meal,
the opening of the gifts, the watching of
old holiday movies...

And to scan the past
with one swoop of my memory,
the Christmas celebrations fuse together
into a giant warm patchwork
that has no beginning or end.

Oh, I might recall certain gifts or a
deep snow fall-
but basically, the Christmas's were
pretty much from the same mold.

And I loved every moment of them.

It's hard to pinpoint,
but I think this is the year for change.
This is the turning point to
a different kind of Christmas.

Maybe it's because the babies have all grown up-
That the toddlers spend most of the holiday
being huddled back and forth to other relatives-
That even my adult children
want to start their own traditions
at their own homes.

My tree is even tucked away in a corner.
I rarely turn it on.
We haven't watched a single old movie
or listened to carols together.
I've opted out of the huge Christmas dinner
for finger food instead.

I compare this Christmas to the point
in my childhood
when I finally laid down my dolls
and never played with them again.
Don't exactly know when that was,
but it was bound to happen.
It was a fact of life-
an involuntary act-
a milestone of nature...

Just as now.

I look at my children
and their children
with all the pride in the universe.

I hope they are recording and
remembering these Christmas days.
The tree, the meal, the opening of the gifts-
I hope they are singing songs
and watching movies
and making solid traditions.

Don't get me wrong-
my husband and I are neither sad
or lonely over the prospect
of a "dwindling-down" Christmas.

We see it as our quiet time-
our time to reflect-
our days to snuggle
and remember
and be thankful.

It has given us the time
to consider the real meaning of Christmas.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

May your Christmas be bright-
May it be full of happiness and wonder
and memories abounding.