This time of year truly is the most wonderful time of year. The “feeling of Christmas” is all around…just breathe it in AND avoid the news. Christmas seems better when you can spend it with the ones you love and care for. This creates more great memories. This year also brings with it memories spent with those no longer living close by, or that have passed away.
The other day I was listening to a song by a popular Rhythm and Blues group from the 70s, called the O’Jays. The song says, “Christmas just ain’t Christmas, Without the One You Love”. As I was singing along, I couldn’t help but to think about family and friends that are no longer here. I attempted to turn my thoughts elsewhere because I didn’t want to think about all of the loved ones I lost in the last two years and on. I’m still not able to think about them without my eyes “sweating”.
The song ‘s declaration is indeed true because Christmas isn’t the same without your family around to share it with you. I can no longer run to them and see their happy faces during the holiday season. I can always think back to our last Christmas together, but it’s nothing like actually touching their warm skin and hearing their gentle voice as we talk over dinner and tell jokes.
I will do my best to never forget those times. They may be gone, but they are definitely not forgotten. We can’t allow those memories to take away the joy this time of year brings with it.
Make the most out of this time with family that are still around. Let them know that you are grateful for them and that you appreciate all they do. Some of this may be an exaggeration of the truth, but let’s just say that we are “calling those things that be not, as though they were”. Sometimes when the time gets rough, they are the only ones you can rely on to be there for you.
Enjoy those walks down memory lane with them. Enjoy that uncle that makes you shake your head at what he wears, because he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him. Enjoy that mother or father that continues to embarrass you with all that they say, because they are right and everyone else is wrong. Be grateful for the horrible food that your aunt, who doesn’t realize she’s lost her anointing to cook years ago, makes for the family. One day you are going to miss all of these people because one day they will not be there with you.
Family is the same no matter who or where you are. You didn’t pick your family, but you do the best you can to love and tolerate them, even if you don’t understand them. Especially if you feel they don’t understand you. Love on them while you still can. Smile as you remember those gone and those here. You may cry, but don’t forget to smile. Cherish the memories of yesteryear and continue to make new ones for the years to come.
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Featured Image from Rainforest Islands Ferry