Christmas went by for me very quickly this year. It feels almost like a dream. I know we had it, but I just want more. I don't mean I want more gifts, and I really don't want more cookies. I am just trying to stay in that Christmas feeling. Some years I am anxious to move on. At times, I have had everything put away on December 26. This year, I am trying to hang onto it just a little longer.
I remember feeling like this a few years ago, so I looked up this old journal entry from five years ago:
January 1, 2004
I put away the Christmas things carefully and lovingly this year. Sometimes I have put them away in a mad rush, anxious to move on...to get out of the joyous season as fast as I can. But I was afraid this year. I was afraid that I wanted to move past everything too quickly. I was fearful that in my speeding by that I would miss some important stops to take along the way.
I put each ornament away carefully. I glued pieces together that needed mending. Then I realized I didn't have to memorize each smiling face on my picture ornaments. I had been trying to take in every last detail. I don't have to do that....they will still be here. Next year when I unwrap the tissue paper, my children will smile back at me from ornaments shaped like snowflakes and wreaths. I guess they will look younger to me each time I open them again. The pictures will still be here, but the children themselves will have grown and changed. It is not the ornaments I need to savor, but I better hug these children very tightly. If I need to take in every detail of something, it is of the children themselves....their thoughts and their cares. The day will come when their plans differ from mine. I will be left with the ornaments and the memories.
I want those memories to be good ones, for me and for them. I want my children to remember making cookie bars together, while singing songs, or whispering of stories and secrets and love. I want them to remember what we have done for each other, and for other people to make our season feel wonderful. I want to remember our talks, and our plans together...not the mad dash to get everything done "just right." The kids are in a rush....already telling me how many days it is until the next Christmas. My goal for this new year is to remember not to rush, but to have time to be with them, listen, and pay attention to their important details.
When I wrote that entry five years ago, I was really feeling how much my family was growing up. Ryan was going to graduate from high school in a few months. I knew we would be spending some holidays apart. That is normal, and I love to see my children maturing and making good progress in their lives. I don't wish for them to be small again. I do however, seem to be trying to stretch the present holiday out just as long as I can. I need to remind myself, as I did five years ago that it is not the holiday itself that I am trying to hang onto, but the good relationships that spring out of the time we have together.
One Year Later . . .
1 week ago