Friday, December 5, 2008

The Space Between...Thanksgiving and Christmas

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas so much stuff happens that it's easy to see why the holidays are stressful and bittersweet for so many people.  This year - I'm one of those people.  
Thanksgiving was odd this year, and bittersweet really is the best way to describe it.  Missing spending part of the Thanksgiving holiday with Bramers and with my Dad, didn't really sink in until about 1:30 am on Friday after.  It was then that my body and mind were finally quiet from the day's many chores and stops.  Sharing the Thanksgiving meal with my sisters, my kids, my grandma and the Barbers was really nice.  Especially since we were last minute additions due to weather that stopped us from traveling north to see my Dad.  But those few hours spent in Schoharie were sadly missing for me this year.  And a Thanksgiving smile and squeeze between my husband and I was the biggest void of all. Friday after Thanksgiving found me once again surrounded by family - in a truly wonderful gathering of ALL my Barber relatives.  Hence the sweetness of that day came to remove the sour of the day before.
And now Thanksgiving is over.  My favorite of the holidays for many reasons, but mostly because it comes and goes with little fanfare and, save some cooking and cleaning, little stressful preparation.  Now it's full steam ahead to Christmas and all the little things that have become my Christmas-time routine.  The movies, the music, the decorations, the choosing of gifts, the planning to spend time with everyone.  Fitting it all in has always seemed like a chore, but happily done in the spirit of the season.  
This year though there will be a space...a space between me and those traditions.  I'll probably still do them.
I may watch the movies, I may listen to the songs.  I'll put up a tree even though I expect it will feel like there's a pine needle in my heart the entire time.  So I'll go through the motions.  "Fake it 'til I make it" as a friend would say. And pray that the space left by the absence of a great force, the space between me and this holiday, the space between Thanksgiving and Christmas - is filled with grace and peace and understanding.
And always with love.