I knew that this Season would be hard. I knew that I would have to be extra cheerful for the girls, so that it is special for them and so they don't feel that there's a big Daddy-sized hole missing. The word that keeps popping in my mind as I think about what I'm feeling during this time is bittersweet. This season, for me, is both pleasant yet painful.
After 8 years of Thanksgivings and Christmases together, Joel and I have our routine, our traditions and our roles:
- I make the stuffing that he loves.
- He bakes a pumpkin pie, because I hate to bake.
- He grumbles as he pulls all of my Christmas stuff out of the garage and asks me every year, why I need so many decorations.
-I drag him to store after store to look at more Christmas stuff
- He sets up the tree while I decorate the house
-We listen to Christmas music as we decorate (his pick is Bing Crosby while I have to fight him to let me put in Josh Groban)
- I watch him from the window as he sets up our deer outside
- I then listen to him rant as he has to fix a broken deer and replace bulbs on said deer
- After the decorating is done, we sit on the couch and cuddle with just the light from the tree
- He watches Grace so I can wrap all the presents at once
- Grace and Joel decorate a gingerbread house together
- I look forward to seeing what ornament Joel ordered from New Hampshire with all of our names inscribed on it
I love our holiday routines. And this year is obviously different. I got all the boxes out of the garage and got things set up as the girls napped over a 3 day period. Then Grace helped me to decorate the small tree this year, because the big tree was too much for me to do without Joel here. The house looks as cozy as it always does around this time of year, but it feels different.
I promise you that I'm trying to be cheerful. I love Christmas - it's my favorite holiday. I love that I get to see Autumn's eyes grow big as she sees the lights on the tree and her stocking hanging from the mantle. I love that I get the chance, once again, to tell Grace about a tiny little baby that came to earth to do great things for us. It's still a magical time, because the meaning of this season didn't change because Joel's overseas.
So, I'm focusing on Christ and trying not to focus on the emptiness that I feel with Joel being gone during this time. We have much to be thankful for, and I'm thrilled to spend this time with my two girls, who help me to find joy in the simple things that Christmastime brings.