I write this having just finished my holiday shopping and wrapping for Santa. White Christmas is on Netflix in the background and I have had my cup of hot cocoa and a few well thought out gifts from friends (Kerry you never cease to amaze me with your creativity, now I have to take up playing cards:)) I am feeling full of the holiday spirit and after driving by my old church from my childhood I am even inspired to attend the candlelight ceremony tomorrow evening. I thought maybe I would see Carri there when I drove by, but maybe she was guiding me in the car to a destination I haven’t been to in 19 years. I am ready for Christmas to arrive, complete with mixed feelings of excitement and loss, cheer and sadness. It is only recently I have really learned that this is true for most folks, the holidays, if you are lucky are a mixture of both, why lucky you ask? Who would want the loss and sadness part? Well simply put, as I heard on a television show of all places:
We never truly bury the dead. We take them with us; it is the price we pay for living.
I like to add to that it is the price we pay for having loved and been loved deeply and honestly. Those people linger in our hearts and minds, our lives and experiences. So to experience some loss, some sadness, means I have been lucky enough to be loved and completely whole with someone else. It is a bitter drink to be sure, but I am grateful I had her while I did, I will continue to drink it every year in her honor no matter how much I dislike the taste. .
This week my goal is to be realistic. Holidays and family can leave us filled with emotions that don’t fit the scene in our heads, or the events we plan may go awry. What I want to do this week and every week is to remember that nothing is perfect and often it is the imperfections that make a moment or a holiday something we will remember and hold dear. There is the Christmas we bought our tree on the 24th and Carri convinced them to give it to us free. The time we opened presents in her closet for reasons I don’t even remember. There is the Christmas I skipped work to go see the Muppet Christmas Carol and I had to hide in the bathroom because people from work were there. And I will always remember the year Carri Worked at Walt Disney World and we got to see James Earl Jones read the Christmas Story to an intimate crowd of about 20. Darth Vader telling the story of a baby in a manager will forever change the way you see Christmas, trust me.
These mishaps and misadventures stick better in my memory than any well planned and perfectly executed moment ever will I suspect. So this year I’d like to let go of the belief and the desire that there is only one way to experience something, only one way to remember it. I might forget my sons sitting with Santa, but I will never forget Vazer grabbing Santa’s hand and trying to walk away with him. It wasn’t planned, it couldn’t have been foreseen, but it was the best moment of that day for me.
We took our yearly picture over the weekend, if you haven’t already check out the previous years outtakes in the previous post (my links aren’t working). This year was better than most and with the exception of our closet Doberman with the damaged and abused brain, we are all at least present in every shot. So even though some of them show a little boy giving evil eye to his Rottie sibling, and one looks like I’m being molested by a Swissy, it was fun and funny this year with little people finally big enough to hit the timer button and dogs finally blocked in with an intricate network of gates that trapped them in the frame. And this year, unlike some others of recent past, I smiled through the whole darn thing. I hope you do too. Merry Christmas everyone, or happy whatever holiday you call your own during this season. May your days be filled with awesome mistakes and by chance moments that you will remember long after the candy canes fade and the presents have broken.
What I’m Listening to:
What I’m Reading: Matched by Ally Condie, ah more dystopian YA… I think I have a problem.