It’s A Different Kind Of Christmas This Year
Christmas Music is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. As I travel around town dropping kids here and there and traveling from store to store on my errands, I have Spotify playing Christmas music by my favorite Contemporary Christian artists. I tend to have a very strong emotional reaction to music of all kinds. Lyrics speak to me in a way nothing else does. So as I’m driving around and Mark Schultz starts singing “Different Kind of Christmas” though my car speakers, the floodgates burst and my emotions overflowed.
There’s one less place set at the table…
On Christmas Eve it is six weeks since we said good bye to mom. It is still surreal that she is gone. Grief is a strange thing and although I know she is gone, it does not yet feel like reality. My heart aches for it to be a terrible mistake. I have been keeping myself busy, constantly on the move, because it is so much easier to be sad in the quiet stillness. As my emotions ebb and flow, I just go along for the ride. Grief is a process and the holidays only make the feelings that much stronger. These emotions cannot be locked away; they just need to be felt in all their powerful glory.
There’s just a million little memories…
I love Christmas. Having the house filled with family, laughter, and sparkling lights is my definition of perfection. Food and drinks and cookies everywhere to be shared, what could be better? All the excitement as my children open gifts fills my heart with joy. I love to see them happy and their excitement is contagious. As I wrap presents, plan menus, and bake cookies, memories of mom flood my every move.
My love of Christmas originated from my mom. Not my love of decorations and twinkling lights, my mom was a minimalist and could only handle the house in a decorated state for a short period of time. Matter of fact, my brother and I usually handled all the decorating. Mom loved the house filled with family and laughter and happiness. This will be the first Christmas morning I have spent without my mom. Even as we became adults, she found a way to be with us Christmas morning. At first we all spent the night at “home” Christmas Eve. As we added spouses and children, the Christmas Eve sleepover became harder to pull off. So instead her and dad started at my house Christmas morning and moved along to Adam’s next. Family is the most important on Christmas.
What’s still alive is the legacy you made…
My heart is filled with sadness this Christmas. I feel the empty spot where mom is supposed to be with every fiber of my being. But I am also hanging on to all the memories of past Christmases; I am hanging on to the legacy mom left behind. I will fill my home with family, good food, and Christmas cheer. When my children open their gifts and I see their smiles and excitement, I will think about my mom’s beautiful ever present smile. I will sit in church Christmas Eve and pray for peace in my grieving heart and I will whisper to Jesus to give mom a hug from me.
Just because you’re up in heaven, doesn’t mean you’re not near…
I believe in God. With my whole heart I am certain my mom is in Heaven with our Lord. Just as God is omnipresent and around us always and everywhere, so is mom. She is part of the eternal body of Christ and therefore also omnipresent. Christmas morning, I will not be able to physically give her a hug, but she will be there. Her presence will fill my house and she will be near as we open gifts, share food, and enjoy each other’s company. Her smile will fill the room, I just need to remind myself to slow down and feel it in the room. Christmas was her favorite and she won’t want to miss a minute.
It’s a different kind of Christmas this year. We will see-saw between feelings of sadness and joy. The ups and downs are what make us human. Embracing our emotions is not always easy, but I would rather feel the pain of losing great love, than never having had it in my life. My mom’s love was the greatest gift of my life. What better time to celebrate such a gift, than on Christmas.
To hear Mark Schultz perform “Different Kind of Christmas” click here.
Other posts you may enjoy:
Celebrating the Season of Advent
Passing on Family Traditions – My First Thanksgiving