My husband and I took two of our grandchildren to a Christmas tree lot to pick out our tree. When we arrived, Cienna, age 2, shrieked with delight as Christian, age 4, spoke with authority regarding his tree-picking skills. We captured a hasty “selfie” photo of the four of us, and they were off!
Christian eyed a small “Charlie Brown Tree” and although Opa was contemplative, I scanned the rest of the lot for a larger one. (We live in an apartment now so gone are the years of magnificent giants that reach floor to ceiling) We kept one eye on Cienna as she darted and swerved through the lot, nearly knocking adults, and anything in her way, to the ground!
Next, a dirty diaper, and off to the car to change it. As I answered the call of duty, I noticed Opa and Christian trailing behind.
Then Opa announced, “They didn’t have the tree for us.”
We departed the lot, dropped them off at home, then I began to cry. Tears flowed for the years past and the experience of choosing the huge Christmas trees I always had growing-up, the even bigger ones we enjoyed when raising our children, and the sites, smells, and stabs of longing that haunted me. A cascade of emotions and memories, both comforted me and stung as I struggled to identify my feelings.
During the Christmas season we can feel a longing, or even sadness as we reminisce. Know that you are normal and respect your feelings. Don’t feel embarrassed because “it’s Christmas and you’re creating new memories, so you shouldn’t feel this way.”
Christmas is a time to embrace our past, and our present. To have hope in the promise of God in Jesus. God knows our feelings are real. Rejoice in all of them.