Welcome to the Holidays

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"It's beginning to look a lot like ..." 

Okay. I’ll admit. I’ve been watching Hallmark Christmas movies since July. And since Halloween is officially over, I can stop hiding that fact!

I know some of you get a coronary when I repeat what I just saw on Facebook. “Only 54 days til Christmas.” I’d already seen the post LAST WEEK that we only have nine more Fridays before Christmas.

And as much as I love the whole holiday season, I started thinking about the next 54 days. What is it about this time of year? It is “the most wonderful time of the year” for some. For others? To quote one of my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies, “I just can’t wait for Christmas to be over.”

I don’t know which camp you’re in this year. Or if you find yourself trapped somewhere in the middle.

And I’m not sure what about the holiday’s causes people to feel the way they do.

It’s funny. You ask people how they feel about the upcoming July 4th, and you’re likely to get fairly tepid responses. I don’t notice my neighbors putting up red, white and blue lights and donning their yard with American flags in April in anticipation.  And I don’t find Fourth of July movies on Hallmark in the middle of winter just to get us excited about it.

But there’s something about the coming holidays that seems to really touch people.

For me, I approach the coming season with mixed emotions. My first husband got sick over the Christmas holidays. Two years later, he died shortly after in January. Since then, I’ve had mixed memories. Some of my sweetest, most precious memories of our family were over the holidays. And some of the most painful, knowing that Christmas would be our last as a family.

I don’t know how you respond to the holidays. As a blending family, you probably have mixed feelings as well. Grateful for the new family. Excited to create new memories and establish new traditions. Sadness about what once was, but will never be again. Watching your children torn between two households. Maybe wishing things could be different.

In approaching this season, I always have to remind myself that although I love watching those Christmas flicks, my life isn’t one. I can’t expect my holiday to be movie-perfect. I have to be willing to embrace and choose to enjoy the journey I’ve been given.  To look up for hope, look around in gratitude and look within to find the true meaning of the season.

May you approach the coming season with joy, anticipation and renewed hope because you are blessed.