I remember the morning of December 1, 2007 when Deb and I got a call from our son Tad. Our first grandchild, Marek, had been born. Three and a half years later they had a second son, Silas. This weekend I went up to see them decorate the Christmas tree. It was a relaxing time and I really enjoyed being with them for a few hours.
Every Christmas prior to this, Tad and Lisa would come to Winona for Christmas. This was a logical choice because Grandma Deb would spend a solid week decorating the house, complete with a 10 foot Christmas tree rimmed with at least 150 ornaments. Beneath the tree on Christmas mornings were probably 100 presents. Yeah, you figured it out… every year our family seemed hell-bent on obliterating anything close to the real meaning of Christmas. And you’re welcome Macy’s and Anthropologie; we did a good job of it.
This year our chief decorator, head cookie-maker, and supreme gift guru isn’t with us. We will miss her terribly, but there is a bright side to everything. I’ll go up to Minneapolis this year and the boys will have their first of many Christmases in their own living room with their own family traditions. After all, wasn’t Christmas really meant to be spent at home? Besides, did anybody really think that someone besides Deb would ever again spend an entire week setting up Christmas and another week putting everything away?
Shopping has become a bit harder for me due to the fact that Deb would buy everything for everyone and I just had to play the bill. This year I’ll buy selected gifts for immediate family members but I’d rather take a beating than go to a crowded Mall. My daughter saved me by telling me about the “wish lists” posted on Amazon.com! Heck, yesterday I bought almost all my gifts using online shopping only!
I know I’m not much of an example of the Christmas spirit, but I’m doing my best for my first year out of the box. Have patience with me please…you might even get a Christmas card in the mail sometime before New Year’s day!
Christmas isn’t about the gifts anyway, Don – they’re just an excuse to watch the little ones rip off the paper! But being with them, and the rest of the family, is where the spirit lies – and in keeping loved ones not able to be with you, in your hearts. Decorations are just “frosting” on the cake. Merry Christmas.
Got your card today and love the sentiment about moving on and creating new traditions. I am sure those grandkids loved having Christmas at home with grandpa visiting. It is hard to be missing Deb, but I am proud of your ability to move forward. If you’re not moving you’re not living!