Christmas With(out)

img_1521This is a Christmas of withs and withouts. I celebrate and mourn all at the same time.

  • It is my first Christmas with new traditions. New traditions borne out of my dad’s death in October. Man, I miss him.
  • It is my first Christmas spent in Hays and without beach walks in Sarasota. It is my first Christmas spent at home with our dog, Oscar.
  • It is my first (and hopefully last) Christmas living with cancer in someone I love.

All of these things are two sides of the same coin. Reasons for happy and sad tears. Reasons for rejoicing and mourning.

It is a season filled with memories. Christmas Eves spent in my childhood home. Steak dinners. Dad leading worship. Mom’s eggnog to close out the night. Christmas stockings with an orange, a peppermint stick, a few nuts and a small gift.

It is memories of my last 20 years as a parent. Celebrating with my husband’s family. Of turkey and dressing. Of wide eyed wonder growing into a beautiful young woman.

It is summed up in this beautiful song by Mark Schultz – “Different Kind of Christmas”.

It is not easy to admit, every Christmas is different. The changes in this year draw pointed lines to the the differences. It isn’t about recreating these memories. It is about embracing the brand new, the different ways I can, I have and I will celebrate.

Christmas is about the love I have to share with those around me and that I have shared with those no longer or not currently here. It is a day to embrace the withs and withouts.