I love Christmas for so many reasons. First there is the meaning of Christmas and the celebration of the birth of our Savior. Then there are all the traditions, festive decorations, family meals, and time spent with extended family.
Over the past few years, I put great effort into establishing traditions with my family. This includes getting a new pair of PJs the night before Christmas, a new ornament to reflect each child's interests over the past year, adding a tracing of each child's hand to the Christmas tree skirt, and the list goes on.
Well needless to say this year was different. Some of the traditions still happened, and others did not. I have to get a new tree skirt and retrace all the handprints minus one onto the new skirt. I didn't have enough time with the kids to do some of the other events that we have done in the past. We were able to spend Christmas eve and Christmas morning together, and I am so grateful for that.
But there is such heartache and grief now that they aren't here. The house is filled with new toys scattered everywhere. And yet the house is totally silent. It looks like the kids were just plucked out of the home into thin air. The drop off today was harder than nearly any other.
How do you hand your kids over to their father and another woman who has just moved into their lives without any regard for me? How does another woman who has never been a mother before get to claim my children for this great holiday? It makes my blood boil and my stomach curdle.
And then I remember why today is so important, why I want it to be important to my children, why I teach them what today means as I know they will never get that message at the other house, and I try to relinquish my grief and anger. I try to be on bended knee before the manger. And I try to think of Mary giving birth and later watching her Son be laid in the tomb, plucked into thin air.
So on this day I try to remember the reason. I try to exemplify the qualities I want my children to have. I try to remain hopeful, faithful, and filled with grace. And I try to think of the unspeakable joy this day brings.