I love Christmas but I still find it difficult to look forward to it.
Every year I think it would be more meaningful if only I had a child or two to teach about our Savior's birth - slowly revealing the wonder of the great gift as the kids get older - watching the wonder in their faces as they experience the magic of Christmas. The wonder of new fallen snow. The beautiful grace of wishes granted, either by Christ or by Santa or by a generous stranger. Oh how I long for a Christmas like that.
Instead, Christmas is little more than a deadline for me. And I hate that.
I hate that I can't experience the joy, peace and wonder of Christmas because I'm stuck in a car by myself (trapped with my own thoughts) driving 10 hours to get 'home'... and then another 10 hours to get back to MY home before I have to be back at work.
People with families have absolutely no idea how lonely it is.
Last night I was checking out a few purchases at L!nens&Th!ngs. (stuff for myself of course -I've barely started Christmas shopping!)
The friendly sales clerk asked if I was ready for Christmas.
Oh heavens no, I joked.
"I am." she said, "I love Christmas, I can't wait."
Oh. I thought you meant am I done putting up the tree and wrapping gifts. That's a big fat no!
We bantered back and forth and somehow it fell out of my mouth.
"When you're the only one in your family without kids, Christmas is just a deadline."
The woman behind me in line nodded in agreement. She knew just what I was talking about.
I continued, "You rush around to get gifts that nobody really even wants, they do the same for you, you pack them in a car, drive across a state and a half to people that don't even seem to appreciate that you bothered to make the trip - but would surely gripe, and call you selfish if you DIDN'T make the trip. I miss all the joy of Christmas, and I hate that."
The woman behind the counter, a grandmotherly type - just stared at me like I told her that I eat kittens for dessert.