Monday, December 29, 2008

A Merry Christmas, Indeed

I historically have thought of Christmas as a time of angst and tension -- as something to be gotten through rather than enjoyed. However, in keeping with my relatively recent commitment to renounce struggle as a way of life, I decided that this year would be different. "The holidays don't actually have to suck; this year I'm choosing to see them as good and fun," I told myself. And I meant it. And it worked!

Last Thursday was spent cooking for and spending time with most of my somewhat unorthodox, but completely lovely, family circle: my fiance's three children, my fiance, his ex-wife, her boyfriend, and his mother. It was just the eight of us, and I think that a good time was had by all. My parents and brother were in NC for the holiday, and I missed them very much (this is only the second Christmas that we have not spent together), but I had a nice chat with all of them and felt that we were together in spirit.

This Christmas for me was about thanksgiving more than anything; in fact, my urge to say "thank you" to the powers that be was even stronger on Christmas Day than it was on Thanksgiving. One of our family members who had been in the hospital for several weeks was released the Tuesday before Christmas and was able to join the family celebration on Christmas Day. This was, for all of us I believe, the very best Christmas present imaginable. The oldest one of our ranks had been through a serious illness earlier in the year, but she made a recovery and was in fine form on Christmas Day, which was another wonderful blessing.

It may sound trite, but there really is no greater gift than having your loved ones alive and well and spending a very happy and convivial day together with them, is there? Gifts purchased at the mall or over the Internet, while good in their own way, pale in comparison to having a good time with people you love.

Thank you, thank you, for letting us have such a wonderful Christmas this year. May all the joy and well-being of that day remain with us as we head into 2009.


Barbara said...

I'm sure the food was a good as the company. There is nothing better than spending time with those we love. Wishes for good health to those in your group who most need them!

willow said...

Yes, those lovely intangiables are what it's all about.

Barry said...

Thee happiest Christmases I can remember are hose where we spent time just having fun with friends and family.

Walks in gently falling snow, making a last minute decision to go skating, having friends we hadn't seen in a decade drop in at the last minute, and (especially) the night my wife and daughters spent stringing alternating cranberries and popcorn on thread that we used to decorate the Cedar tree we have on our front lawn.

Your post brought back some nice memories.

Val said...

jeez this one made me teary. so so happy for all of you!
well done! xx

Reya Mellicker said...

It's not trite.

Loving connections with people, animals and the natural world are the best of the best.

Life is so precious! Bravo!

goatman said...

I am happy to see your group together enjoying food and drink in spite of the relationships. Perhaps there is hope for us yet in getting along with each other.
(I am just blog-surfing today--trying to expand my horizons. I trust that my hopes for you and your guy for a prosperous and gentle new year are taken in the spirit in which they were sent.)