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They Come And They Go

Christmas Eve again.

For many years now, I have not had the Christmas spirit.

Part of it has to do with the fact that I work in retail, in a place that starts to put up Christmas decorations the day after Halloween. Carols are played constantly after Thanksgiving (There are only so many times one can hear Willie Nelson sing "Jingle Bells."), and the closer you get to the big day, rivers of busy, oblivious people start pouring in.

By the time Christmas gets here, I'm ready for the Fourth of July.

Most of my family passed on long ago, so no aunts, uncles or grandparents to visit. It's been that way for many years now. My father is in another state, so my mom is the only family of mine that I see.

Most of all, I think it has to do with the fact that I don't have any kids.

I've blogged about that before, but, I really seem to take note of it at this time of year.

Not that I am really bothered by it. You can't help but realize it when most everyone your age has kids. Can't really get around hearing about what they're doing and what they're buying for them.

It seems that, with kids, you'd really have no choice but to get into this holiday. Decorating the tree, shopping, giving your kids something you know they have wanted for so long, watching them enjoy Christmas with the innocence that only children know. It is their day, for them to enjoy.

This time of year provokes a sort of "measuring stick" for time that has passed. The day is one which is planned for, sticking in your memory for a while, one which you'd look back on and "remember when." Remembering your family, seeing how the passage of time has fit itself on people you care about, feeling the absence of those who have gone, and taking special note of just where your kids are at in their lives.

People are usually a bit bewildered when I say I don't get into Christmas that much anymore. Inevitably, they usually conclude that I would feel differently if I had kids. Not that they mean anything untoward by it, just a casual observation made about something that permeates their own lives.

I am sure they are right.

For those of you who have children, take a bit of time tomorrow to appreciate just how blessed you are. Make it a time that they will always reflect on with wonderful memories. Take pictures, so when they're all grown up, you can all look back on Christmas' past and laugh, remembering each one.

They may not show it now, but, they sure will appreciate it later.

So will you.


(Have a great Christmas, everyone!)


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Comments (11)

You & yours have a Wonderfu... (Below threshold)
Stephen Hugli:

You & yours have a Wonderfully Merry Christmas as well Shawn.

Merry Christmas to you. I ... (Below threshold)
Lisa:

Merry Christmas to you. I know how you feel, and I have children. They are grown now, but even when they were young, it took all I had to do the whole Christmas thing for them. They didn't have a big, extended family, so I knew it was important to establish some holiday traditions for them. My Christmas spirit died with my grandparents, many years ago.

Looking forward to the Fourth of July, especially this year :)

Merry Christmas, Shawn!... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Merry Christmas, Shawn!

Can't wait for the grandson's to get here tomorrow. We're gonna have a great time!

Merry Christmas young Man! ... (Below threshold)
914:

Merry Christmas young Man! Cant wait to get home tomorrow. Im gonn have a grand ole time!

Merry Christmas FLU-BIRD</p... (Below threshold)
914:

Merry Christmas FLU-BIRD


My mother died last month. ... (Below threshold)
Delphine:

My mother died last month. This is my worst Christmas ever. But it is still CHRIST-MAS. It is still the the best night of the year. I don't know what I would do if I didn't know that God sent His Son on Christmas 2000 years ago. It makes everything all right. It may take some years to understand. But if you want to, you will. Anyway, God Bless You at Christmas and always.

I am in almost your same mo... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I am in almost your same mood as I write this. Christmas is a family holiday. And my family is far away. As much as I hear Jesus is the reason for the season, it just does not seem so. I would ascribe that blame to all of us. I try to stay positive and spread some love and pray that God will bring heaven to earth. Enjoy your time off.

I assure you Shawn having k... (Below threshold)
Prairie:

I assure you Shawn having kids is not a guarantee of Christmas spirit, just like you can't depend that kids will be there when you need them in old age.

This is the first time in over 35 years of marriage that my husband and I spent Christmas Eve with just our son and his wife. We have always had my MIL with us and this Christmas she is in the hospital, at 91 years of age too weak from heart problems.

Over these past 35 years, as my MIL aged the physical demands of making her comfortable have been momumental and our holidays were not at all what they could have been or should have been.

Hubby has an older brother who moved to California some 30 years ago strattling us with all the holidays and my MIL . We alone are officially in charge of insuring HER happiness, a task we have lovingly provided all these years.

It does however, make us resentful that the older brother could move out of state and be "excused" because after all HE lives in California.

All responsibilities of taking care of the MIl fall on our shoulders and the California brother gets to breeeze in, spend a weekend now and then with the MIL and he is treated as the Golden Child.

Now only that, this California brother gets to spend his holidays with HIS family and never has to worry about his Mother. We often wondered these past years what it is like to make a life for yourself and never worry about the family back home. This is our first experience and honestly I wish I could say we missed my MIL - we didn't. In fact it was wonderful to just enjoy our family time. It is as if we have now started over our life and it feels good!

I hope you enjoy your time off Shawn, I guess what I was trying to say is that sometimes all this family stuff isn't really what it looks like on the outside. Peace......

The Christmas celebrated in... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The Christmas celebrated in the U.S. for most of the last century is a commercial interpretation of a religious calibration. Some would say a commercial hijacking. In that regard a wise cartoon character said it best. Silly rabbit, Christmas is for kids.

As kids most of us remember the wonderful experience of receiving gifts galore from our parents and closely related adults who expressed great pleasure in seeing our gleeful faces as we hurriedly ripped through our large pile of gifts. It's something only kids can truly experience. As adults we relive that experience vicariously through our children, and if you don't have any young children of your own, then you assume the role of such people that you remember from your childhood.

Not being able to regain that magical childhood experience drives many adults into depression this time of year, as if Christmas merriment is a measure of the worthiness of their life. It's not! Now is the time to open that gift you've been saving all these years, the original gift that Christmas is really all about. Open your Bible and read about the first Christmas and ponder what was given to all humankind. Know that God express great pleasure in seeing his child's gleeful face as they remember and receive the greatest gift of all. Giving thanks and sharing that gift with others is the true spirit of Christmas.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. -- Luke 2:9-11

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. -- John 3:16

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. -- John 16:33
I have had a difficult time... (Below threshold)
Gretchen:

I have had a difficult time getting into the spirit myself this year, and I do have kids. For me, a political junkie, the incessant revision on America and assault on her people have taken its toll.

But sitting in church last night, listening and singing the hymns, watching people who have the freedom to worship in the manner they choose, really touched me. I love the Luke story of the birth of Christ. It gave me peace and strength. If I focus on the religious teachings, I can regain my perspective. Perhaps you can discover your core and spirit at Christmas and let the secular stuff go by the wayside, or at least, keep the secularism in its place. It was, really, absolutely HEAVENLY to sing HYMNS last night! No Santa Claus! No presents! No mistletoe!....just the birth of the Christ child.

Sigh. I know where you are. May blessings be with you now and in the coming year. May we all find the true meaning of Christmas in 2010.

Bad news, Shawn.If... (Below threshold)
Rose:

Bad news, Shawn.

If you never have kids, you don't have grandchildren. All that you are experiencing now will be repeated. Given how much longer we are living, chances are it will repeat with the GREAT-grandchildren cycle as well




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