So this is Christmas... another year over...Each time the traditions change, I have to manage myself a little and let go of how it is "supposed to be". Christmas is the time where I am the most attached to my perfect little Currier and Ives images and have to remember that I am an evolved human being and I do know that life doesn't always reflect those pictures painted from someone's equally tradition-laden imagination.
This year, on Christmas Day, I am sitting tapping away on my laptop while trying not to listen to the soundtrack of a DVD that would never be my choice for entertainment on this day of families and dreaming of white Christmases and carols tinkling away in the background. I mean, really?! Resident Evil?! It is a good thing I am committed to being married to this man for the rest of my life... where is Jimmy Stuart when you need him?
And tonight my dear children are celebrating with their significant others and their families and no one had a large enough home to include the growing circle of children, in-laws and friends. I realize that it would take a community centre sized space with a commercial kitchen to prep the dinner of that size and while we might tackle that kind of mega-event once a decade or so, truth is that future Christmases will all take a different shape. This has been shifting over this past decade and I officially passed the torch (and 5 or 6 boxes of decorations) to my daughter after the darling grandson was born so I have been winding up my time as Ms. Claus. This year we enjoyed a fabulous dinner together on Christmas Eve, clearing space for other activities today. Christmas morning was just awesome with the new easel being a big hit for the grandest boy.
I truly got the message 4 years ago when we were renting the biggest home I have ever lived in, in an amazing rural wonderland and I went all out to create the ultimate family gathering, only to have a good old fashioned blizzard and some challenging family dynamics have the whole family bugging out at 8 am on Boxing Day, leaving me with way too much food and booze and an absolutely perfectly decorated home (I did pay attention to the details on the Currier and Ives cards!). As I sat with tears running down my cheeks, my sweet husband reminded me that he was still there and we could have wonderful leftovers while overlooking the fantastic winter scene through the giant picture windows, framed with twinkling lights.
Good opportunity to be grateful tonight though... this has truly been an amazing year and reflecting back on the past blogs, my life has continued to unfold in miraculous and wondrous ways. I sit at the end of this year, having completed 2 years of my first efforts of post-secondary education, with an A+ average and an Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management to show for it. (My next adventures in higher learning are coming soon - but that will wait for another time to post about). My work is evolving into exactly what I want it to be - the time spent, the people I work with, the challenges we are undertaking, the potential both for growth and great compensation. My relationships are all feeling full and lovely and complete. I adore my home, pausing often to give thanks when I walk through the door for a home that just feels right. I love and support my adult children as they go about their lives with a healthy balance of involvement and objectivity. My dear husband is transforming his health through determination and commitment and looks better every day. My mom is well, slowly fading as I would expect at her age, with a stubborn insistence on living independently and so far we have been able to provide her with as much assistance as she needs relatively simply. My grandson is perfect and I treasure each moment I spend with him. We have a regular playdate each week and now include games of imagined friends and stories and so much laughter. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have this time with him while he is still in love with his Grammy. Our time together just melts away effortlessly.
Tomorrow night I will host a gathering of dear friends for a Boxing Day celebration. Many of us shared a delightful dinner on the Solstice with wine and incredible conversations. Having more access to my friends this year is more to be thankful for. We have reached that eclectic age where we can both wise and silly - what fun!
And so, this is Christmas in all of its splendor and grunge - in a time where we pause to think about Peace on Earth, I bring my focus and attention to sharing my good fortune and spreading my good will around even further next year.