Friday, December 22, 2006

comfort and joy

Christmas is virtually here and I am preparing to go to Steve's parent's home for the holidays...literally over the river and through the woods. And while I am looking forward to this new experience, my feelings remain mixed.

Like Scrooge, I am haunted by the spirits of Christmas...

The spirit of Christmas Past pulls up those old memories...Megan dressed as an angel, taco soup and wine on Christmas Eve, Aunty Ann pulling up in the driveway loaded down with gifts. And the way the house felt...festive and full. I remember two Christmases ago, promising myself I would make it the best ever as I knew it might be our last family Christmas. The melancholy I felt throughout that entire Christmas season was almost more than I could stand, and yet, I smiled and wished everyone well.

The Spirit of Christmas Present reminds me that the entire thing was built upon something I really no longer believe. And I wonder if perhaps I am hypocritical for celebrating so. I am reminded then, that Christmas has indeed become more secular than religious, and that I can celebrate it as a time of peace, of remembering loved ones, and of joining together as families with appreciation. And so I guess I am okay with that. Furthermore, this Spirit makes me wonder just how emotional I may get as the hours tick away until Christmas Eve. Will I think that it's all wrong...this new celebration, or will I embrace it with joy at finding a new place in the world. I do miss my sisters, and my parents, and wonder how I spent so many years not celebrating with them. And will Steve and I have any time alone to celebrate our first Christmas together??? Or will we be barraged with too many people? And can I ask to be excused and go hide out in the fifth wheel without everyone thinking something is wrong? Will there be any holiday music? Turkey? Christmas Present is indeed a frightening spectre.

I don't fear the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come any more than the others. My future seems quite merry and bright. Sure, there will be some tough years. Others will be just perfect. And I will adapt to this wintry season in South Dakota, to the ways of the Rohwedders, and to this new life I have chosen. Perhaps the upcoming years will bring new traditions that are Steve's and mine alone. And perhaps we will choose to celebrate the Solstice instead of Christmas - aligning our celebration with our beliefs about life.

My hope is that I will awaken on Christmas morning filled with comfort and joy, and that I will feel like old Ebenezer Scrooge, appreciating the people I love. No bah humbug here....just blessings for "every one."

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