Here we are - a week away. Well, actually less than that and my thoughts and emotions surrounding Christmas are all over the place.
For many, many years we made the drive to Bethlehem, PA to spend Christmas with Peter's family. We squeezed in time with mine as well because my sister, Stacey, lives out east.
When I think back on all the Christmas trips (12 hours) we made to Bethlehem - there were over 30 - they were always wonderful. We'd arrive in Bethlehem in the evening, after dark, and drive over the Hill-to-Hill bridge. Huge neon candles sat atop that bridge and the star of Bethlehem greeted us as we drove up and over the hill to my in-laws' home.
We didn't go back last year. My sister-in-law died in the spring, 2011, and our son came home from Japan that year so we stayed in MI. It was difficult for all of us because we missed Patty terribly but it was nice to be in our own home with our son and his girlfriend.
This year our son is not coming home; they were just here in Oct. celebrating my mother's 90th birthday. We won't be driving to PA, though, because the trip has just gotten too scary - for me in particular. Will it snow? Is that black ice? etc., etc. We'll go out in June and spend relaxed quality time with everyone.
My point here (I know, I'm taking a long frigging time getting to it, aren't I?) is that Christmas emotions are bouncing all over everywhere. Our family is small, no little kids around, it's never the same as when you were a child, the wonderment is replaced with sadness at times - missing family members and friends.
Wow, this is sounding pretty maudlin isn't it? I don't mean for it to be so . . . . whatever. My dad died the day after Christmas 7 years ago. My niece died 2 years ago today. The sky is cloudy and gray. Not a good combo.
Don't worry. I'll pull out of this. Maybe I'll crank up Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree or find something by the chipmunks. Yeah, that ought to do it.
I'll bring this to an end by wishing you all a wonderful holiday season. Good health and happiness to you in the new year.
Where's the figgy pudding?