It was enough to about push me over the edge.
We had just buried my mother.
I was numb for days after her death, and even longer after her funeral.
Christmas would arrive in five days.
“Christmas will never be the same without Mom.”
I was right. It hasn’t.
But in those five days between Mom’s funeral and Christmas, complaining followed me everywhere I went. Or maybe I was just more aware of it. I can’t remember faces, or voices, or where the complaints came from, but I remember them.
How the wrong Christmas gift arrived in the mail, and not the one ordered.
How expensive Christmas can be, especially when entertaining.
How “crazy” life can be this season.
How stress levels were “off the charts” with baking, shopping, squeezing in too much in too little time.
It took about everything out of me not to scream at the top of my lungs,
“NONE OF THIS PIDDLY STUFF MATTERS!!
I just buried my mom and best friend! I’d give about anything to celebrate Christmas with her just one more time. How can you get worked up over things like this??!!”
It’s a good thing I kept my mouth shut. Grief was rearing it’s ugly head, and even though what I was feeling was real, screaming this would surely have made me some enemies.
Maybe it’s one of those things you don’t understand until you go through. I’m sure I got worked up about similar “piddly” things in prior years, but losing Mom so close to Christmas that year changed my perspective on what’s important and what’s not.
Christmas has never been the same since.
And yet again, over the weekend I heard and saw similar complaints. Not much has changed in eight years.
There will be things that go “wrong” this Christmas. That’s just a given. Yes, maybe the wrong gift arrives, or the turkey isn’t done on time, or the house might not be as clean as it should be for arriving company.
Does any of that really matter? I read a quote yesterday that touched me…
“What’s under the tree isn’t as important as who’s around it.”
Cherish those you’re with. You already know they are irreplaceable, but sometimes we forget. Sometimes we need a reminder.
I’d still give about anything to celebrate Christmas one more time with Mom. And even though Christmas hasn’t been the same without her, the blessing of realizing what’s important has been a gift to me. One I wish I would have learned sooner.
May you embrace what–and who–is important these next three days.
God bless you, and Merry Christmas!
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