I miss ...
I have been thinking all week about what my Christmas message will be and on Tuesday night, it came to me.
I have been trying to figure out why I sometimes get melancholy around Christmas. I don't know why I feel a bit sad sometimes, because most Christmases have ended up cheerful and memorable. Then it hit me.
It's because of the wonderful memories of Christmases past -- the sights, the sounds, the smells, the surprises and the people – that have built up in my memory. Knowing that some of those moments will never be realized again makes me sad. I should be joyful that I did experience those happy times, but when I think of them, I feel disgruntled that the next Christmas is not going to be as happy as when ...
- I was able to buy my Mom a Christmas present for the first time. It was just a couple of bars of scented soap with a wash cloth, but the smile on her face when she opened the gift is forever in my mind;
- I would enjoy the many Christmases with my parents and six siblings and all of us feeling giddy all day over what we got for presents;
- Our children waking up on Christmas morning, rubbing their sleepy eyes as they made their way into the living room and screaming in delight when they saw what Santa Claus had brought them – then tearing open their wrapped gifts (and I do miss staying up until midnight on Christmas Eve wrapping the gifts!);
- Bill Harris would start singing Christmas carols – most of the time it was "We Need a Little Christmas" – in the office shortly after Thanksgiving;
- Joyce Bell would bring her special rum cake to the annual office party (one piece and you were just barely able to drive home);
- We would gather at my in-laws' house on Christmas Eve and the time we had about 18 of us (including two dogs) sleeping over for the Christmas morning gift-giving;
- We gathered for the first Christmas where both of our granddaughters would be able to open their Christmas gifts without help from grown-ups – and realizing it was at our daughter's and son-in-law's house – Christmas had come full circle.
These are just some of the many happy memories and I am sure you have loads of them as well.
I've come to realize that experiencing Christmas is part of growing up and growing older. The Christmas joy of childhood evolves into the joy of giving to others, which further evolves into seeing the next generation enjoying the Christmas spirit.
You can't get those delightful moments of Christmases past back, but you can – like Ebenezer Scrooge was shown in "The Christmas Carol" – enjoy the Christmases Yet-to-Come.
Hang on to the happy moments and enjoy all your future Christmases.
Merry Christmas everyone.