It’s still looking a lot like Christmas

It’s still looking a lot like Christmas,
even though it’s Valentines..
Take a look at the living room, stockings still hanging too,
with ornaments and pretty lights aglow….

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Yes, my Christmas tree is still up. Yes, it’s February, yet I can’t take it down. The simple thought of packing it up brings me to tears. I keep telling myself to put the Christmas stuff away, but my heart just breaks at the thought.
It sounds silly, I know, but for the first time ever, my family wasn’t able to be together for Christmas. My oldest son is now a Marine and wasn’t able to be home. So the thought of putting the decorations away confirms that we had Christmas without him, and my heart can hardly stand it.
Christmas is his favorite. He loves the movies, and even watches all the Christmas music specials with me. Last year, I sat annoyingly close to him while watching Country Music Christmas, and I looked at him and asked, “do you think this will be the last time we watch this together for awhile?” He laughed and said, “Mom, I don’t want to talk about that.” So we didn’t. We just sat on the couch, eating his favorite Christmas treats, watching Jennifer Nettles perform at the Grand Ole Opry House. I remember taking a deep breath, trying to pause or capture that moment. I am glad I did. It was during that moment, my heart was introduced to a new level of emotion. There isn’t a word for it, but it’s a mixture of every emotion created. Maybe it should be called ‘momtimental’ or ’emomtional’, or maybe it’s because there are no words to describe that emotion that it doesn’t have a name.
Whatever the feeling is, it has become very common part of my day. I know it is a part of parenthood. Raising kids to be kind and productive adults is a beautiful and painful process. The emotions that rise up in me me are so full that they spill out in the form of tears on a daily basis. Joy, sorrow, pride, gratitude, concern. Each one revealing itself throughout the 24 hours, each one is a part of being a parent. I’m learning that you have to let yourself go through these emotions. Give yourself permission to embrace not just the joy but also the sorrow. Embrace even the emotions that cannot be defined. It’s important.
So, when are we taking down the Christmas decorations? Yikes, I’m crying just from typing the thought of that.

Well, I think I saw some Valentine hearts on string lights that would look nice on a my tree. I think I’ll put those up.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

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