In the past, Christmas preparations meant baking and decorating and parties and menu planning … this year it meant get that dishwasher hooked up and the ‘guest room’ emptied out and all the reno tools down to the cellar. In between that, we had a ton of stove pellets (a literal ton) to deal with, snow to clear, used truck shopping (we finally retired The Beast – actually, it retired itself) and then shopping for new winter tires for it, and more medical appointments to sort out for hubby (I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this, but the ongoing health saga has been a significant stressor for both of us over the past year.) It’s also my first Christmas without my mother, and that thought sneaks up and punches me in the gut every once in a while. To busy or distracted to write, and I’m exhausting myself just reflecting on it all (and I’m only reflecting in order to explain why I haven’t been writing.)
Does it sound) like I’m whining? Hell, ya! It’s been a brutally stressful month at our house (it’s been a rough year, actually). But at the same time, I have much to be grateful for, and I so am!
(in no particular order…)
- My dishwasher is hooked up at last. After a year and a half, it had started to feel like it would never actually happen. But there it is, in all it’s Christmas glory. My fingernails were starting to peel off in layers from soaking in the dishwater, so, just in time ’cause I imagine it would be frustrating trying to do Christmas stuff without fingernails.
- The new old truck is amazing! It’s comfy, it smells good, I can actually drive it, and it’s not white!
- Medical appointments – while I wish it wasn’t happening at all, I am SO very grateful for a socialized medical system where we can get the tests and treatments to save our lives without having to take out a mortgage or go bankrupt to pay the doctor’s bills. I’m also very thankful for a truly awesome doctor!
- Last winter my Mom said that all she wanted for Christmas was to go home, and this year she got her wish. While it hurts that she is gone, I can honestly say that it makes me happy that she is at peace now instead of looking at the snow and longing for the spring. I’m truly happy for her.
- My oldest step-son is home for Christmas for the first time in many years (thus the clearing out of the ‘guest’ room.) This is actually the reason we pushed hard to get the island/dishwasher project done, clear and sort the room, find a 4×4 vehicle we could trust would get us to Prince George (the city in Northern BC, not Will & Kate’s little darling) in any weather to pick up and drop off at the bus. And we have zero regrets, just full hearts.
It’s not the Christmas house full of cookies and lights, decorated from end to end, inside to outside. It’s still just our little mid-reno house, with a Christmas tree and some presents. We may have had more take-out than home cooked meals so far, we haven’t done a ton of stuff other than the live nativity play (You can read about last year’s play here.) But we’ve had some good times just being together. We’ve had some good Christmas spirit. And we’ve created some grown-up Christmas memories to keep our hearts warm through the years.
Over the next couple days we’ll spend time with extended family and some new friends, we’ll open presents and share meals, we’ll laugh and sing and love each other. Because we are all still here and we are together, and that’s what matters most.
I hope this Christmas season brings you all at least one person, or gift, or experience that fills your heart with this much joy and love and gratitude!