May your day be merry and bright

Peace on earth, good will towards all. Joy to the world! I am happy and grateful for the peace and joy that I have in my own small world. I pray for the peace and happiness of all beings.  I hope for an end to strife and prejudice everywhere.

Christmas treeI have started my 60th year of life on this earth, and plan for 60 more! I remember the wonderful Christmases of my childhood, always plentiful, without much thought of the rest of the world. Then  I think on the Christmases of my 20’s and 30’s, with many children, trying to teach them about giving, not just receiving. The Christmases of my 40’s and 50’s were more difficult, having to deal with divorce and teenagers, but still we lacked nothing. The last few years have seen another shift as my second marriage came to an end, my spiritual beliefs continue to evolve, the rest of my children left home, and I found myself in a new and wonderful relationship.

I treasure each of my children and my grandchild, and have hopes that we can all spend a Christmas together again. Over the years we have drifted away from that, finding other days of the year for reunions. I have even purposefully worked at my job on Christmas to avoid family reunions, partly due to my own sense of inadequacy. But that is behind me, as I have embraced forgiveness of both myself and others. I am hoping that the pendulum will swing back, and that we will again enjoy the magic of Christmas as a family.

In the meantime, I am happy for the near-to-Christmas celebration earlier this month, the travel to North Carolina and time with old friends on my birthday weekend, and a quiet Christmas Eve with my partner.

May the spirit of the Christmas season stay with us throughout the year.

 

Thanksmas

For the last several years, the gathering with my  seven children during the holiday season has been between Thanksgiving and Christmas, due to the complications that come with adulthood, like work, and relationships. We’ve gotten away from gifts, for the most part, and simply enjoy the presence of family we once shared daily life with.

My five offspring still in Texas, along with a few significant others and one grandbaby, got together for what used to be “Mom’s Black Bean Enchilada Dinner.” That was always a favorite, and favored this time of year because turkey is plentiful at other tables.

This year my daughter, the one with the baby, took over the cooking duties and hosted the gathering. I live in a small apartment, and really didn’t want to do the work of cooking. And Hannah wanted to use organic, non GMO ingredients, as has been her philosophy for at least 2 years. She is a really good cook, and I was happy to turn it over to her and have it at her house.

Great. Date set well in advance, yes RSVP’s all around — a-and — the baby gets a bad cold, won’t sleep, mother exhausted — so I spent half a day at her house “helping”. It involved a lot of baby holding, which was nice, but before everything could be put together, mother and baby disappeared to nurse and sleep and I, along with Robert and another daughter, put the casseroles together and cleaned up. Way more work than I had counted on, and I went home and crashed.

But– yesterday, when we all got together, it was all worth it. The food was good, the company was great, and we all had a good day. Five siblings reuniting, reminiscing about their childhoods.  Hannah says she’s not doing it again, others suggested doing something completely different, or catering. I know a lot can happen in a year, and the most important thing is to keep getting together with family, whatever that looks like.

Here’s my Thanksmas tree.

Christmas tree 2014

I am thankful for my family. And actually, am thankful for the empty nest, because I don’t have the energy it takes to have a full one. I am thankful that my kids are all ok.

And life goes on.