Recently as I gazed down the street from my window, the lights of Christmas started to twinkle. We have several houses in this street and surrounding streets who have turned on their Christmas displays. I smiled, remembering a time when my home too was covered in lights.
We lived just out of town and had an acre of cleared land to decorate with Santa, reindeer, snowmen and hundreds and hundreds of lights, collected over 10 years. It took my then husband and kids a couple of weeks to get them ready, while I decorated the inside of the house. People came from everywhere to see our lights, sometimes so many that police had to direct traffic down our road. If my youngest was home, he would go to the gate and hand out lollies to the children.
Sadly those days are gone now.
The house is someone else’s home and the decorations have been donated to a friend with five younger children.
As I look at the street before me I can only imagine the excitement as the children help put up the lights, as others come to see them over the next few weeks.
Christmas is fast approaching and while I sat on Santa’s knee for the first time in 50 years this year, Christmas won’t be the same for me again. I still remember the looks on my kids faces on Christmas Day as they were growing up. We didn’t have much when they were young but I made sure they had a wonderful Christmas.
I remember them coming home from wherever they were as they got older and Christmas Eve was our time. They didn’t go out, they stayed home and we chatted and caught up on news and watched as other small children got pleasure in Santa and Mrs Claus looking down at them from our roof or the reindeers grazing on our grass.
There will be no children in this house this Christmas.
The kids have stopped coming home.
They won’t call or message, they won’t think to contact me as I wait for the holiday I loved the most to be over. I am not dwelling on this as it won’t change anything. I am thinking however of the many people who will have nobody to spend Christmas with. I know there are so many more than one imagines, so many more that are worse off than me, so many that don’t have memories of wonderful Christmases past and so many that will not eat as well as I will. For that I am sad. This should never happen to anyone.
Christmas should be a family time, it should be a time to be thankful and a time to share your blessings. It should be a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus if that is what you believe or just to have fun with your family.
Christmas this year for me will be quiet. I have volunteered to help with dinner at a community centre but have not heard if they need me yet. Regardless, I will have a special lunch for me and my little dog. We will enjoy each other’s company and we will watch Christmas movies on TV. I will remember years gone by and be thankful we had those. I will close my eyes and still see the smiling faces of my children and the happiness in our house back then and hope they are well and happy and enjoying their Christmas. I will remember the funny little gifts they made for me at school when they were young and the times they brought home others who had nobody to spend Christmas with as they got older.
I will hope that they will never spend a Christmas alone.
I will think of those alone and sad who have no home and will not have a nice meal this Christmas and hope circumstances change for the better next year. I will look out at the street before me and remember a time when so many got so much joy from our lights at Christmas.
To all of you at Starts at 60 I wish you a wonderful Christmas. To those of you spending it alone, I will be thinking of you so please don’t be lonely, don’t be sad. I hope you have special memories to reflect on as I do and as the song says, “I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart”.
How will you be spending your Christmas this year? What Christmas memories do you have? Share them with us.
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