Today we tore down the Christmas Tree (Holiday Tree?) The kids wanted the lights on and the activity rode into their bedtime. Now I'm left to finish the tear down on my own.
As I work on the tree, and indeed over the past several weeks, my thoughts were haunted by the realization that things were different this year. You see, my father passed away in August and this was the first year we were all celebrating without him.
Normally I find myself growing excited with anticipation as Christmas approaches, but this year I had a hard time finding that anticipation and excitement. I could see that my kids felt it but I could also see that my wife was struggling as much as myself.
Overall, we had a good vacation; we saw friends and family, some whom we haven't seen in years. My mom was holding up well though I'm sure it has been hardest on her. My sisters and their families did their best to make our visit with them memorable and happy.
What Christmas means to me has changed several times in my life and such a change occurred again this year. To me Christmas is another opportunity in a world of missed opportunities to spend time with your loved ones while they're still here and still exist. May you find opportunities throughout the year to have those you cherish near you.