It seems to just roll past, doesn’t it? All of a sudden, its a new year. You think …aww plenty of time…the year is ahead of us…when one day, you wake up and its nearly Christmas.
I remember when I was 24. I had a daughter, just learned to walk and my son, running around with his curly blonde hair, and cute as a Dickens, fat cheeks. It was Christmas time. I was alone. I had just broken up with a boyfriend that liked to hit girls when he only got bench time on his college football team.
It was December 24th. The day had just begun. I didn’t have a Christmas tree for my daughter or son to celebrate with. I had no presents. I had just come out of a deep depression where my curtains were drawn in the beautiful sunlight of a snowy day in Colorado. I looked in my pocketbook…I had 40 dollars.
Putting the kids in the truck and high tailing it to Walmart in downtown Alamosa, I had made a selfish decision. Jeromy and Kayla were going to know what Christmas was about and I would worry about my empty pocketbook another day. So after a small shop at the store, for some felt, and glitter, and a little bit of glue, some popcorn seeds we stopped to see some friends from church for just a little while, where they shared their goings on with the family in preparation for Christmas. My friends were the pastor and his wife at the church I attended. I loved being with them, they made it seem so easy, but I knew it wasn’t, it was just a great faith that got them through.
Heading back to home, I was sitting at the red light, the one of four at the time on the entire main street route. I looked to my right at the gas station and the little tiny leftover trees they had left and unsold. I had forgotten a tree. I didn’t have enough money that Christmas to spend on such a privilege. I proceeded to the gas station with the biggest tears in my eyes… I remember because they almost froze in the air as I got out of the car.
Car running, I took two steps out to look at these spinny spindly little pathetic trees. The guy from the station came out and said 20 bucks before he saw my face. Then he said a big “oh” as if he knew. He said give me 5 dollars and you can have your pick. I had no words, but I was able to make out a thank you. There were three little trees, I choose the most pathetic. I felt that I was like that little charlie brown tree I choose to adorn and that it would make the best match to my pathetic Christmas.
I put the Tree in the back of the truck and hauled it back to home before dark as the roads were sure to get much more black ice as the sun went down. Jeromy, Kayla and I popped popcorn when we got home and stung it on the tree. We made homemade ornaments which started our yearly tradition of a new handmade ornament each year. I have a few pictures that I took and they are of my favorite holiday pictures, by not what is in the picture, but of the memories of making the most of what you have because of who you have.
I wanted my children from then to learn, as long as the people you love in your life are in your life, you always have love, you always have hope and you can always go on. Money may not be in your pocket, toys under the tree, gifts to give another, but as long as your heart is pure and full to receive the love you give back from those that love you, you will be ok. I wanted them to know Jesus the true meaning of what Christmas was about. About the unselfishness born out of indifference. I wanted them to be filled this Christmas and every other with its true meaning.
It was time to sleep and we said our prayers and snuggled in bed all of us together. It was hard for me not to cry, it was hard for me not to shed any tears especially with them beside me. I wanted to be strong for them, I wanted them to think everything was perfect because really, it was only I that knew any different. But in essence and looking back, it was perfect. I had my little girl and my little boy, whom I adored more than life itself and to this day, still, do. They were all I really ever needed in my life, they always made me smile, because I had a purpose, and my purpose was God-given and directed. To raise these little people into people that God would be proud to say I did my job.
We woke the next day to people knocking loudly at the door and they wouldn’t stop pounding! It was my Mom and Donald, her husband. They had armfuls of presents for my children and even something for me. It was the most unexpected thing since they live 350 miles away. My daughter got a Spring Horsey, you know the kind, … Yes, Kayla, that was Santa… The real Santa. My son got a little trike type bike. And they got lots of toys to play with. Next thing we knew, we had to gift baskets dropped off at our home for enough makings for two big turkey dinners.
It is a Christmas I will never forget and that taught me much, that you do not need things, but if you are gentle and patient and of a pure heart, you will be provided for. God knows and always provides and I will say, I have never gone without, even in the deepest of turmoil, I always had something, if I look back, I’ve always had something that got me through.
Last Christmas I selfishly bought roses to give out to people on the street of Nice, France as I was alone there on the 24th and 25th of December, the midst of Christmas. I made this gesture not to necessarily, unselfishly make someone smile, I have to admit my motive was charged. To receive an honest smile is the best of the best! It fills your heart with so much love, you forget for even if it is just a moment, that you are alone. And in most cases, I received unscripted hugs pure of thought and heart and they were just what I needed to get through the first of many holidays alone.
Today, I am still without my family, and it saddens me that our lives have gone so far astray. My children are my joy and will be until the day I die. I hope I did my job as required because if it wasn’t I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Every step every temper tantrum every word of “I hate you mom”. I’d not miss a thing. My love, my unconditional love is what I give today as a gift to my family. It is all I have, I am sorry.
So readers, if your alone and without your family, think to the recesses of your soul and your heart and love them anyway. Memories will sustain you. They may be painful, but that is a pure heart, remember that. They will still sustain you. And when you are meant to be with your family, you will be. And when I am meant to be with mine, I will be. For now, I will embrace my new life, my new love, my new self.
Remember the reason for the season and think of it as a journey into what it really is meant to bring you. Peace through the winter storm even when there is no room for you at the inn. Your hope will show you with signs that you are not alone, the wise men will come, they will present themselves with the gifts you need to continue your journey.
I am thankful for you, reader and for the new day to continue my journey on Becoming Me, Riding this Beauty out till I find where it takes me next.
Merry Christmas and God Bless Us All!