Well, Christmas is fast approaching, my friends. And I’d by lying if I said I was as excited as I usually am. Everyone said the holidays are hard while grieving, but I had no idea it would be like this. So conflicted to love the season you’ve been raised to cherish and to feel such sadness knowing that this is now an unknown territory and will never be the same.
Dad loved the holidays. It was an awesome time to be in the Frost house. Our home was full of the Christmas spirit through music and decor, activities and traditions. We’d always have a shuffle of our favorite Christmas CD’s playing in the background. Amy Grant, Harry Connick Jr., Point of Grace, Manheim Steamroller, I could go on. There’s a Christmas song by Amy Grant called Heirlooms and I’ve listened to it differently this year. I’m now truly understanding what I’m missing and at the same time what I’ve been blessed to have in my life.
The song says the memories are “all that I come from, and all that I live for, and all that I’m going to be. My precious family is more than an heirloom to me“. And I now think of the 29 Christmases I had with Dad and how special he made it. An heirloom of memories he gave to me every Christmas. Between Christmas cookie decorating, an annual viewing of The Muppet Christmas Carol, and usually tickets to see a Christmas concert by one of our favorites who were rolling through Atlanta, December was always so fun thanks to my Dad. He knew how to ramp up the season and make it special.
To me, I still believer there is nothing more magical than Christmas Eve. I LOVE Christmas Eve. We’d always start with church in our new Christmas dresses, followed by going out to dinner, and then driving around to look at everyone’s Christmas lights. Excitement was building for my sister and me, knowing that somewhere around the world, Santa is delivering his presents. We’d get home and knew we got to open two gifts. One from Dad who always picked our Christmas jammies and one my sister and I would exchange. Usually a new Christmas stuffed animal to join us in our Christmas Eve slumber. We’d get one last look at the Santa tracker online and off to bed so he could come to the house. What an amazing night celebrating Jesus’ birth, celebrating our family’s love for one another. Christmas is so beautiful in the eyes of an adolescent, but it’s truly led by example of our parents. How lucky was I?
This year has obviously felt much different. I’ve watched Muppet Christmas Carol with tears in my eyes. I’ve listened to the same songs with a ping of pain in each heartbeat. I’ve shopped for presents for everyone…but him. It’s hard, I think it’s always going to be hard. But what I can cling to are the memories. I can carry on the heirlooms, because they are what made me into the woman I am today. And I can hope that doing so will hurt less and less and eventually fill my heart with love once again. Thanks to my parents, I’m a woman who knows God’s Love, the love of family, and how special the Christmas season is.
To you and yours, I wish you a Merry Christmas. May you create your own memories that become more than an heirloom to you. ❤