...families drawing near...
Fun for all that children call
their favorite time of year."
I must confess, it doesn't feel like Christmas is on its way.. at least for me. Maybe it's just the stress of the season (and T being in law school this year--this will be the latest we've left for home for Christmas yet). Maybe it's that I've been preoccupied with so many things-not-Christmas lately. Maybe it's because many of our good friends (not all!) are far away and busy.
Maybe because this is the first Christmas without Momma.
Momma always made Christmas so special for all of us. In the weeks before Christmas, she'd bake all sorts of wonderful goodies (sugar cookies, molasses cookies, biscotti, baklava, cream cheese cookies, Springerles, caramels, and more!). Sometimes she'd stay up late into the night baking for us, for her students, and for our friends. Last year, I helped her stuff 200 bags of goodies with three different kinds of homemade cookies, which she gave to her students. I wonder if she knew it was the last time she'd get to do that for them.
And there was something magical about the house at Christmas time. I remember the first Christmas I was in college, coming home to the house-already-decorated. I got home late at night, so all the lights were out, except the Tree, softly glowing and sparkling in the front window. Gifts were heaped underneath the boughs; all the decorations from my childhood memory were present and accounted for--the drawling "Jingle Bell" bell, the "Better Watch Out" music box in a Santa Face, Momma's wooden nativity set, her wax village, Western village, and Dickens' village all arranged with great care. She was up still, waiting for me to get home. She took me around the house showing me new decorations or nativity sets she bought that year. She always said Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday, because she only had to worry about food (not presents and decorations), but I know she really loved Christmas just as much. Sure it was a little more stressful than Thanksgiving, but she loved it. We all knew it.
But this year, I'm not "into it" for some reason. I made some cookies. I've decorated our house (just a little, though, since we won't be here for Christmas). We've been doing our Advent prayers and snapping the ornaments on our tree calendar. When we get to California next Monday, I'll have some shopping to do with Daddy. We will celebrate Vivian's birthday. Doubtless, there will be "house" projects we can work on (though not so many as Momma would have for us) :) We'll have a Christmas Eve dinner--just Daddy, Vivian, Taylor and me. I will make the Christmas morning Kringle, and we will open our presents and go through our stockings.
But it will be different without Momma. And I miss her...