It is the most wonderful time of the year. The leaves are changing colors, the air is cool and crisp. Holiday meals and delicious goodies are plentiful. We are out seeking gifts to shower the ones we love with gifts. The hustle and bustle is here till the end of the year. Yet there is something – someone – missing. For each and every one of us, the reality of the holidays without someone is a reality.
My grandmothers was an amazing woman. She was the most gracious and giving woman I know. The holidays were her absolute favorite time of the year. She loved to cook – and was amazing at her. Thanksgiving would come and she would make a turkey and all the dressings. Some of my earliest memories involve making homemade macoroni and cheese with her at Thanksgiving, and her trying to make the gravy just like her mom.
Now, I make the macaroni and cheese. It is my little girl and my neice who get up on the step stool and help me layer cheese and noodles, while sneaking a few bites in. I use the time to tell them stories of their great grandmother, and how she would cook. It is now my mom who tries to make the gravy, just like her mom.
She also made Christmas magical. I don’t know how she did it, but year after year she was able to get just the right presents, making sure that our Christmas was just right. Now, when I shop for presents, I try to make sure that others don’t do without, that they too have a merry Christmas.
My grandmother has been gone for several years, and still, the holidays are hard without her.
I then look at my three blessings. They are this infertile woman’s joy. However, they are my joy because they have lost. Every birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am reminded that they are missing someone. They lost their sweet mama at the tender ages of 9, 6, and hardly 3. The youngest doesn’t have one memory of a celebration with her Mama. The oldest misses and longs for her more during those times.
Every one of us has someone we miss over the holidays. People loose people each and every day – and so for all of us, we are celebrating without someone we love, we are bringing back memories of years gone by, and hopefully making memories for years to come.
As joyous as the holidays are- they can be hard for all of us.
First holidays without a love one are the hardest- but just because it isn’t the first holiday doesn’t mean it still isn’t hard.
So, remember, people need a little more grace during the holidays. Many are processing emotions and feelings. Some are dealing with things that they are not able to do for the ones they love. Still others are wishing for something that is yet to be. We live in a broken and hurting world.
So instead of trying to do more, or be more, just give grace.
Grace for the moments where our tempers colloide- because we are frustrated the gravy didn’t turn out like Mamas.
Grace for the moment when the child gets snappy – because she is missing her Mama something firece.
Grace for the woman who just wants to buy the baby blanket- because she longs to give it to the baby she is yearning to convcieve or adopt.
Grace for the in law who wants to prepare an extra side or a different cookie- because they wish they could afford to travel for the holidays.
Yes, we all need a little grace to get through our holiday.
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