Jason and I loved Christmas. We loved melding our families’ traditions together and developing our own…working together to make the season magical for our kids. We enjoyed finding the perfect gifts for family and friends. He especially loved buying for the kids. He was the one on his computer on Black Friday and Cyber Monday looking for the best deals. He would always take the kids out shopping to find something for me…and he would always ask for slippers from the kids….always the same style. He knew that I hate wrapping gifts, so he would do it…sometimes getting Anna to help him. He would put everything in boxes and she would do the wrapping. One year they decided not to put any names on the presents, just numbers. It drove the boys crazy not knowing which gifts were theirs. One year he surprised me and came home from work early just so he could wrap all the gifts.
Usually by Christmas Eve morning I would be feeling stressed with all the things on my “To Do” list. We always fondue on Christmas Eve which means a fair amount of cutting various foods in bite-sized pieces. And we do brunch on Christmas Day…some of that needs to be prepped the day before as well. And I like to have a clean house Christmas Eve. It’s hard to relax in a mess. He could always see me starting to get wound up…and I can hear him saying “Babe, what’s on the list?”…and he would just start helping me cross things off. Inevitably I would have forgotten something at the grocery store…I would say “forget it. Not going to the store today” but he would hop in the car and fight the crazy to get the forgotten item. And always interspersed with all of that…so much love and affection for me…a hug…a swat on the butt…a kiss on my neck. To say that I “miss” that is not nearly strong enough.
And then interspersed in the joyful noise of Christmas…unwrapping gifts, games, laughter…looking across a room and catching his eye…enjoying the joy and happiness of our kids together. Then those magical, quiet moments after the kids had gone to bed…or before they got up in the morning…just him and I. Remembering those moments…more than anything…is what has taken me apart several times today. Just to share one more quiet moment with him…just to look in his eyes one more time…
But now Christmas is different. On the surface we do a lot of the same things…fondue and gifts Christmas Eve…brunch Christmas morning. Instead of Jason helping me with my list yesterday, it was the kids. Levi and I worked on wrapping gifts. I celebrated when I found a bag of giftbags Jason had stashed downstairs. He also helped cut up all the stuff for fondue. And all three of them helped prep brunch. We made it. We did it.
Christmas Christmas morning All is quiet A mug of coffee Dogs snuggling next to me Their bodies like furry heaters Outside the world is blanketed In Snow White and fluffy The sun is peeking over the horizon Treetops interlaced with pinks and oranges Kids will soon stumble out of bed Christmas hubbub Now I breathe in the silence Trying to find peace in my heart But my heart is in pieces And the tears roll down my cheeks