Lat night both my kids and my husband were home. We all were sitting around eating and talking. To be honest that it is Christmas enough for me. The hockey game was on. I was knitting. We were all passing around a bag of sweet and salty popcorn. ( get some!) We had a few laughs, a few groans, and naturally there was some rolling of the eyes. We are after all, family. Christmas is different for me now. There is no late night assembling of toys, no over tired children crying, it is a grown up Christmas. It is about getting together. It is more fun giving presets than getting them.
Christmas is an extremely busy time for my husband. He has a mens wear store next to my studio. Every customer they have almost, comes in to the store in December. By Christmas he is beat out. The last thing he wants to do after work is Christmas shop. Yet I have to say that has never interfered with our enjoyment of Christmas because he loves his work, his customers and his store. Our son works there with him at Christmas which is also a blessing. By Christmas day he is tired. When the kids were little he would sleep away boxing day.
A few years ago, after a beautiful Christmas Day with all the family around , my mother in law quietly passed away after Christmas supper. Even that though , we agreed was a good Christmas , because she had been surrounded by those she loved all day. She had lived a long, full life, and she was ready. We had eaten, sang, opened presents and laughed. It was her favourite kind of day. We don’t tend to remember her anymore on Christmas Day then usual because we remember her all the time.
Yesterday I ran into four people who I know were having a difficult time this Christmas. It can be very sad for some people. After work, over a plate of nachos, a friend said that this time of year incidents of domestic disputes rise dramatically. It is a challenging time of year for many people. I know that. We all miss people we have loved, or still love. We are reminded of so much. Yet it is also a beautiful time of year when we are reminded to care for those around us, to go out of our way to show some extra thoughtfulness and love.
Recently someone said to me that it bothers her when people say “it does not feel like Christmas”. She explained to me that she felt Christmas is inside of us. It is what we do. The preparations that we make is what makes our Christmas. The Christmas Spirit is not fairy dust dropped on us. It is the fairy dust we create by rubbing our hands together and getting down to business with a little baking, a little prepping, buying or making special gifts for those we love.
Any time of year is good to love each other, as my mother in law always said, “we are here to be good to each other.”, but at Christmas we are reminded of the importance of friendship, of kindness and of love, for that is the real meaning of Christmas. So it is not about the shopping, even though at Christmas we are both ( my husband and I ) busy selling and wrapping presents, we know that the buying of those presents is meant to represent the way one person feels about another.
You can see a picture on the top shelf here of Robert’s Uncle Mike who started the store ninety years ago as an immigrant pedlar selling around the county from a horse and wagon.