Wednesday, December 5, 2012

So many thoughts

December 5

First let me begin by saying that I love Christmas.

Then, let me follow that statement by telling you that it is also one of the months I least like.

There's just too many emotions and thoughts that plague me during the holidays, namely the fact that I grew up in a big family, and always had many people surrounding me, big tables with loads of food and a tree that seemed to be surrounded by an ocean of gifts.  Laughter and chatter and all that fun stuff.

December 5

As I left South Africa behind, I also left that part of my life.

It's simpler now, much simpler, but also much quieter, which in turn sometimes translates into loneliness.  Loneliness that is amplified around Christmas time.

Some family members have since passed on, siblings have married and had children and have their own families, and the big Chistmas feasts have ceased to exist.  For me, it's been 15 years since I was able to celebrate that way.

Don't get me wrong, I love my husband and my children, and there's nowhere I would rather be than here with them.  But I do wish that my children would have had the chance to indulge in a bit celebration akin to the ones I had when I was their age.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is that this is the month where I most miss my big family around.

I know I'm not the only one, I have many friends who don't like December and Christmas, simply for the feelings it evokes in them.  It's normal to miss those that are no longer among us in body.

These past few days have found me in somewhat of a blue mood.  I try not to let it get to me, but deep down it hurts and what that translates into, is a somewhat somber, quiet demeanor.

Some days it's good, some days it's not so good, and some days it's an inner battle between the smile and the frown, but I almost always let the smile win.

The main reason being that my children shouldn't be deprived of a good Christmas, and laughs and joy.  It's about them now, it's not about me.

Letting them enjoy the season and everything that comes with it, is my priority.  Oh I'm not saying that I can squash down all my feelings and pretend they don't exist, but making a choice to not let my mood affect everything is what I do.

Besides, my kids keep me grounded and in the moment.  How can I do anything but smile when I turn around and see this staring me in the face?

December 5

Something else that takes the sting away, is doing what I love to relax, like crochet.  Have let my hands move at their own speed, creating and creating away.......

December 5

And at the end of the day, I step outside and see God's beauty reminding me that I'm still alive, I'm still kicking and it's STILL a beautiful day no matter what.

December 5


lndwhr said...

Amen, Sandra. I too, grew up in a large family that all lived close to each other and celebrated holidays together. My husband and I live quite a distance from family now, and we make every effort to be together with our large families when we can, but it's not always possible. Our kids love those family times,but I've found that for the times they cannot be together, we have made our own family traditions. As they hit teendom, I'm realizing that those "just our small family" traditions are as important to them as our "large family" ones. Blessings to you during this Christmas season. God is good!

MamaBoz said...

Oh, I hear you. My kids too have not nor ever will (as children) know big family holidays. I hold on to the fact that I hope we're making memories and traditions with them, so when they're grown and have children we will have big family holidays with them! You are not alone Sandra. Keep up your positive attitude and wonderful blogs. All the simple pleasures like lights and snowmen. Oh, and all the yummy treats and flavored coffees this time of year help too.... :)

Conny said...

Those thoughts resonate with me too. We were in the military for 12 years - far away from everyone - and now while we have one set of grandparents near-by, it is often just us and them. No cousins, no aunts, uncles, no loud-and-crazy-ness, just our 3 kids doing what they always do ... In a way: (hate to sound ungrateful) BORING!!!!! BUT like you, I embrace my family - and make the best of just US. :)

Whitney @ My Southern Comfort said...

I needed to read this today! Thank you so much!

Liz said...

Growing up, we had so much fun with big holidays but as I got older they were nothing but stress. It took the fun out of the holidays. I always wanted a big family of my own to try to do over what was so stressful of my family get-togethers. Well, I didn't get the 5 kids, but now we do family holidays with my husband's family and everything is so relaxed and there is so many people and the kids have a blast. I got what I really wanted

Just remember that you are almost done where you are, and next year at Christmas may be totally different and you will probably have more freedom to get that big family Christmas with lots of presents under the giant tree and food everywhere all season long.

Carol said...

It's so hard as things change, isn't it? I definitely miss all the Polish traditions I grew up with. My mom doesn't really do any of that since my grandmother passed. But you have the right attitude: see the beauty around us and appreciate what we have. And you know... someday you will probably have a big family holiday again!

Suellen aka Suzy said...

I grew up in a small immediate family (only child, in-laws didn't like my mother much, and vice-versa) but had a HUGE extended family because my maternal grandmother was one of 12 (10 that made it to adulthood and had kids of their own). and many of her sisters lived within 20 miles of her (or less) Not only were Thanksgiving and Christmas HUGE affairs, we had family picnics, parties, etc all year.

Now most of the older generation is gone, and the younger generation has drifted apart as we've grown up and moved into our own lives. I miss all the fun I had with my second and third cousins.

CaityClaire said...

Thinking of you, hope you are not 'blue' for long- and keep doing those things that help you get through.

autumnesf said...

Our society seems to get more and more spread out every year. Its harder and harder to find large family groups that are all in the same area. Growing up military was rather a lonely time for me....and I turned around and married military and did it to my children. And since it has been so hard to find a job, we still won't be around family like we wanted to be. Very sad.

Amy said...

Hi Sandra,
I feel the same...we had such beautiful Christmas celebrations when I was little. I married a man with eight siblings thinking there would be big, fun holidays. Sadly, they are all spread out and don't get we have a small group each year. The last couple have been difficult since losing my mom, but this year is better. I'm like you and keep busy with my helps! Maybe things will change for you and your family in the near future and you'll find yourself in a new place. Exciting!