Last year I didn’t have much holiday cheer. It was the first Christmas that my whole family didn’t gather together on Christmas Eve at my parent’s home. My sister decided it was time to spend Christmas in her own home, since she has two boys now, and who can blame her? There is nothing more magical for a child than waking up on Christmas morning in your own home, with presents under the tree. And my mom had decided many years ago, that she was no longer going to drag her children out into the snow to visit a million relatives on Christmas Day. They had to come to us. So, I can hardly blame my sister for wanting to do the same.
Last year I had no room in my apartment for a tree. Michael and I had just started dating and he was visiting family out of state. I was still recovering from a really rough year that brought many changes to my life. There were no children to watch on Christmas morning. I didn’t even have the ambition to do any baking. I wasn’t depressed or feeling like a scrooge. I just didn’t have my usual zest for Christmas. It was, I have to admit, kind of boring.
This year, I’m feeling a bit more jolly. I am really looking forward to the 3 day weekend with my family and friends. Michael is sticking around this year and I have been baking like a fiend. Ok, I decided not to get a tree, but there’s always next year. We went to State College over the weekend and I managed to finish up my Christmas shopping. My 2 1/2 month layoff left me with pretty low funds, but I still managed to get some gifts for the nephews. I spent the past two days making cookies for the teachers I work with, and I have to admit I am pretty proud of them…the teachers and the cookies. I tried some different recipes this year and they all turned out really well. We had some lovely snow over the weekend and the weather report is calling for more on Christmas. I am just feeling the glow a lot more this year.
But I think the biggest difference is that I am looking back a lot on the past year and feeling really grateful for everything that has happened. I have an amazing family and friends, a wonderful boyfriend, a great job, a comfortable home, I’ve been healthy, I’ve traveled, I’ve made new friends, I belong to a great church, the list goes on and on….
I’m taking the time to stop and count my blessings and really, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?