Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The last Christmas ponderings of this year (I hope)


If I could put one word on this past Christmas season, it would be... satisfied.  Not perfect mind you but satisfied.  Gifts (often unexpected) from friends and family provided a way to experience many of my favorite traditions over the Season.

I missed having Stephanie's family here but we tried them visiting at Christmas just once.  Warmer weather is much better for traveling with small children!  So, the ideal Christmas of having all the family together around the table is not realistic in this home.

I have learned that to reach a level of satisfaction, I must give up any ideas for perfection. Life is hardly ever perfect.  It is rare to pause in the midst of a day and take a mental snapshot of our life as it is.  More often I find myself looking back... at the many days and years which have gone before... and wishing that I had more of a clue how special that time was in my life.

When I think back on the happy times... most of the loveliest memories happened in the everyday of living life... day by day... moment by moment.  Memories of my own childhood, that of my children, family that has departed this world, friends who live far away... not many of the days we lived at the time were thought to be anything special.  For instance, to this day I seldom enjoy the simple treat of pie and coffee without thoughts of sitting at a booth across from my mother and never imagining life without her in it.

So... this Christmas is now in the memory books as all the Christmas "stuff" has been packed.  They await in the garage for hubby to place the on shelves (except for those precious few snowmen).  It was a quieter Season than most people experience but I learned this past year to embrace the quiet.  Instead of fighting circumstances, it can be a good thing to look for the blessing in them.

While I have such fond memories of my family in their childhood and teen years (sigh... even Christopher is now twenty), I learned that to light candles in the darkness... to let the guys watch a game together and curl up with a cat and a book... to enjoy hearing about the grandchildren's faces as they opened their gifts... good is possible when perfection is not.  :)

12 comments:

Julie said...

ok I had to read the last part of the post with blurry eyes.... so very true what you said. I remember an older neighbor lady who said she fussed and fussed over having a perfect house. Her dh would ask her to come sit with him but she was just to busy. She told me after being a widow for over 20 yrs her biggest regret was not sitting.
I guess we all struggle with letting go of perfection and just embracing the everyday miracles that surround us...
Great post as always!!
Blessings,
Julie

Alpha Otter said...

Lovely post and ponderances. Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your Christmas. I especially liked the part about letting the guys watch a game, haha. :) I have to admit, I enjoyed some pretty good NFL football games over Christmas. Thanks again for a lovely post. God bless. -Kevin Ott

Beth said...

How blessed your daughter is to not feel pressured to return to family! Such a gift to unselfishly give her.

And as for perfection.....it will never be this side of heaven. I appreciate that you can find the blessings in daily living. Great thoughts.

nanatrish said...

This was a precious post. It made me think of the sweet memories of my mother in quiet times that seemed like everyday life and now as I look back....they were some of my most precious memories.My life has these special memories all the time. I just need to remind myself that everyday could be a special precious memory someday. You have been on my mind and we are praying for Victoria.

Debbie said...

Thank you, dear, for that lovely perspective. I've yet to face those years since most of my children are young adults and want to be home. However, I know those years are to come, and I will remember what you've written here. You're a wonderful Titus 2 woman!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Honestly, NOTHING can top the joy I felt when I watched my grands opening gifts and fishing tiny things out of their long Christmas stockings.

I love it that they anticipate things that we put in their stockings each year, like the little log cabin of maple syrup tucked into the toe.

Happy new year,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Martha said...

OUr Christmas and it's memories are all packed away as well. It is sad to see this season end for January seems so cold and sparse (and it IS cold and snowy n the prairie!)

Jean said...

Beautiful post from a wise woman. I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks!

Lisa Z said...

What a wonderful reflection! Thank you for sharing it.

scrappy quilter said...

Wonderful post with so much wisdom. Hugs

Kimberly said...

What a lovely post about Christmas. You put into words so well how I feel sometimes. Our family had a quiet Christmas, too as we are in "reduced" circumstances, but we had and continue to have what is important--faith and family. Hope Victoria is better. Please keep us posted about her.

Anonymous said...

I so agree...learning ways to enjoy "what is" rather than what was "wished for" is the secret to being satisfied. I have grown to just want to get through especially December...and still in ways, this one was difficult too...but some unexpected nice things happened too. Being grateful as much as we can is a good habit, isn't it? And in aging, I find it just as wonderful to have time to research, read, crochet, etc. as to do more exciting things!
Blessings,
Elizabeth