Christmas 2015 ~ Changes, lessons and blessings

Christmas has come and gone and with that comes time to reflect.  I have a few days off ahead of me and a couple of closets that need attention.  But I also have new books waiting on the end table … I think the books might win. 🙂

The grand kids were with us the night of the 23rd and all day the 24th, and our family feasted, played and opened presents that evening. It was fun and cozy and wonderful.  But it was also different.  You see things changed this year: they’ve slept over on Christmas eve for 3 years now, and we have embraced waking to two bright little faces … even if they do tend to get up on the early side.

But this year was different.  They wanted to go home, to hang their stockings there with Dad and his fiance.  That’s a very good sign that they know who their home is.

Still, we packed as much in as we could, playing Yahtzee and Dice, making chocolate chip pancakes and lunches/snacks, enjoying Holiday movies like “Elf” and “Prancer” and calling the Santa Tracker regularly to check on the big guy’s whereabouts. We read the story of Jesus’ birth and “The Night before Christmas.”    At the end of the night, as Dad and his love bundled them up, they were sleepy but excited to go home, see the dog and put out cookies for Santa.

Several times that day I had tried calling Mom but she didn’t answer; what I didn’t know is she’s congested again and that impacts her hearing.  The phone is next to her, but she never heard it ring.  Talking with my sister Christmas Day she relayed that she and my oldest brother spent part of the day with Mom and how much she enjoyed it but that it played her out, too.   I shared my connectivity concerns and she suggested I call the front desk and have them bring Mom the portable phone, which we did.  For about 5 minutes Mom chatted with me, Hubbs and youngest boy, and while our conversations were brief,  we all expressed our love and gratitude for her as well as our sincere wishes for a Happy Christmas.  We each had a tear when the call ended. And if the time comes that she can no longer hear well enough to talk on the phone, I guess I’ll have to come up with an alternative.

I’ve beat myself up for weeks,  wondering why I wasn’t feeling it ~ the Christmas “spirit.”

I can see now that life has been preparing me for another change.  Time to let some things go – to roll with the changes – and to land safely on the other side.   I’m trying to remain open as to what He has in store for me.

a time to keep

“Sacred blessings and divine opportunities appear in your life disguised as unforeseen changes and challenging circumstances.” ― Miya Yamanouchi


What changes are you sensing?  Are you able to roll with them?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, fear, Grief, Growth, Holidays, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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20 thoughts on “Christmas 2015 ~ Changes, lessons and blessings

  1. Awwww! I remember your stories of your visits with your Mom and how great she was doing. Passages. We are in a passage but I don’t know what it is. This year seemed scrambled and I was without interest. Maybe it’s time for new traditions and to stop mourning losses. It sounds so good in my head but getting it to my heart is the hard part. Have a great new year!

  2. you said, “I’ve beat myself up for weeks, wondering why I wasn’t feeling it ~ the Christmas “spirit.”. Wow, we had a conversation about this exact thing this week. I suggested to my wife (who voiced her concern) there are a couple of obvious things in play in our lives….our kids are grown and all starting homes of their own, so the daily excitement that goes with little ones in the home isn’t there. Plus we gave each of them their gifts early so they could open them up @ their leisure, and we wouldn’t have to get sucked into the last minute frenzy. (think there was another one or two things that were contributing to it as well, but my short term memory is kicking in right now and I can’t remember what I said) 😉 Anyway, feel a Sunday afternoon nap coming on. Wishing you an amazing restful few days off from the treadmill.DM

  3. Diane Helminiak

    For many years, I worked in the hospitality industry before the babies and my schedule was hit or miss for the family holidays. My parents tried to adjust as well as my in laws. Now one of my sons works at a hotel/water park so his work schedule is making our holidays non traditional. We celebrated Christmas with my boys (and one fiance’) on Tuesday evening. That made Christmas very quiet and just my hubby and I basically sitting at home watching Hallmark channel. It’s important to spend time when we can to get together. Kids grow up and have a family of their own. We have adjusted because spending time with the kids is important, even if it’s not on the holiday.

    • We’ve adjusted and now we’re enjoying things — it’s just that sometimes in the shift of the change you really feel the pinch, you know? MJ

  4. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    As we grow older things certainly do change at Christmas. Our kids have their own plans, our parents get older or are gone. This is when we think back on our memories and just let Christmas be what it is suppose to be at time.

  5. Wow …this is probably one of your most profound pieces. I enjoyed it, yet felt the melancholy and longing in your words. I guess what it boils down to is for us to enjoy the moment.

    Enjoy your time off this week. Rest, read and enjoy the company of those you love.


  6. I’m so glad you got time with the grands, and sorry that it wasn’t quite the same as the ways to which you’ve grown accustomed. It sounds like you rose above your emotions and made the absolute best of the circumstances you were given. I’m not surprised. That’s the MJ we all know and love. You rise to meet your challenges and don’t let them drag you down.

    And I can sympathize with your fears about being disconnected from your mom. I’ve been very fortunate to be so near my parents all these years, though admittedly, didn’t always consider it to be good fortune. Now that I know how good I’ve had it, I sympathize with your inability to be as close as you’d like. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Your mom knows you’re doing the best and all that you can.

    I have a little chalkboard in my kitchen. I write words of inspiration on it, and periodically, change it up to give myself new and uplifting thoughts. Someone (my daughter) took the liberty of changing the sentiment on the chalkboard during Christmas week. It now says, “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.” I know from experience it’s true. So I’m passing the thought to you and hoping it helps carry you through some of your stress and any sadness over the changes in your world.

  7. Friends commented recently about my change in ‘persnickety-ness’. I’m learning to let a lot of things go, including the enormous Christmas tree we always erected with 10,000 ornaments I have lovingly collected from travels and family. Didn’t do it. Ordered some Alpine trees, grouped them with lights, threw on some birds, and called it done. Clean up will be easier too. That said, Merry Christmas-post greeting- and Happy New Year!

  8. I feel a peace about 2016. I like your idea, just roll with it. Happy New Year!

  9. Dear MJ…we haven’t talked for a bit as I have gone through a tough writers block and then some in 2015…your blog brought memories of loosing my parents…I am so sorry I have not kept up with you.

    Loosing our parents is very hard and it hurts deeply…for one thing we do not know what to do or say? Our parents will live forever right? All of a sudden we go from child to the parent of our parents…never easy but so very needed for them and also for us. Our parents need to know each day and night they are covered and ok…and we need to know as their children that they are okay and they are safe.

    You are a good daughter who is full of the joy and the love of your parents…God Bless you MJ…
    Love you much and send you heavenly hugs with lots of love:)

  10. Leah Singer

    Your Christmas sounds really nice! Hope you had a great New Year too! Here’s to 2016!

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