The Last Christmas

Sitting here this morning watching a Christmas movie after spending the earlier hours of the morning listening to Christmas music, it hit me. I just don’t feel it anymore… and now I know why.

That might sound harsh to some people so I’m going to explain. Growing up Christmas was exciting and a time for family. When I was really little my parents would hold an open house on Christmas day for our extended family. I remember helping to make cookies and getting excited to see the older cousins like Aurelia and Angie as well as their dad and a few other aunts and uncles that I didn’t get to see very often. We got to spend Christmas Eve with my grandparents who would come in and stay with us so they were here Christmas morning. Then that all stopped happening. I don’t know why for sure because I was little, like younger elementary school age but it did.

So Christmas became a day that just the six of us celebrated. We would decorate the outside of the house on Thanksgiving and put up some of the decorations inside that day as well. Then around the second Saturday of December, my dad would go get the tree and we would all decorate it. My sister and I from a young age would sleep on the floor in our room on Christmas Eve to try and stay up as long as possible so we could try and figure out where the gifts had been hidden so we would know where to go looking next year… (yes, we were those kinds of kids). Then we got to big or decided that the floor wasn’t comfortable and started treating it like any other night. Then even all of that changed. She moved out, I joined the military, and slowly but surely the other two siblings joined as well.

I would have to say though that one of my all time favorite Christmas’s was that last Christmas we all had with our dad. Christmas was his deal. He loved decorating the tree and I truly genuinely believe that it was the happiest day of each year for him. But I think what made that last Christmas so special is that we didn’t know it was the last. We assumed that there would be more together and that eventually he would get to share his joy for that day with grandkids and all of our spouses.

I know that I learned my love of this season from watching him and sharing all of those decorating times with him. Which is why I think for two or three weeks in December, leading up to Christmas… I just don’t feel it anymore.

But then once I actually put the decorations up, decorate the tree and think about how happy he would have been with how good it turned out (even if it is a dreaded fake tree now) those feelings tend to ease up and the Christmas season joy returns.

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