Monday, December 19, 2016

The Christmas Blues

This weekend I watched my favorite Christmas movie, White Christmas. This movie is a must see for me every year and I usually watch it several times. The movie is corny by today's standards but I couldn't love it more. It's just not Christmas without it, for me. 
But this movie also makes me sad. It gets me thinking about days gone. About simpler times and family that is no longer around to celebrate with us.

When I was growing up in the 1950's and 1960's the big celebrities at the time all had Christmas specials on TV. Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Carol Burnett, and Perry Como would all have shows. They were variety shows with lots of singing and funny skits. Perry always ended his show by singing I'll Be Home For Christmas and my mom would always cry. She missed her brothers in Pennsylvania and I'm sure she was remembering Christmases past with her family. 
This will be our first Christmas without my mom. I miss her so much. I miss not being able to ask her a question. I didn't realize I had so many unanswered questions about her life, or a recipe, or how to say something in Polish. 

The song that gets me every time is Celebrate Me Home by Kenny Loggins. The first time I heard it was during the 1996 holiday season when our eldest son was on his Mormon mission. He was far away and it was our first time to be away from him at Christmas. I longed for the days when the boys were younger and we were all together. That song still gets me every time I hear it!

My sister tells the story of the first year I was married. We were living in the Chicago area while my husband was going to school. On Christmas Eve, my family was gathered around the dinner table in California, when my mom started crying and my sister said, "Oh Mom, are you crying because Diane's not here?" She said my mom quipped back, "No, I'm crying because you ARE here! Of course, I'm crying because Diane's not here" We laugh about that every year. There are so many funny memories to keep us laughing. Once my brother ate so many shrimp his lip swelled up like Daffy Duck. Luckily, it was not more serious that that. 
Christmas is just a funny thing. So many emotions associated with the holidays.

Our second Christmas in Chicago

Our first two grandchildren are 13 and 14 this year. I miss those babies but look forward to another baby coming in January.

This year we will gather at our son's home for Christmas Eve to make another year of memories. Three of our four sons and their families will be there. Then we will travel to Arizona to make memories with our eldest son and his family during New Year's weekend. I look forward to being with family. 
For those that Christmas is a difficult time, I'm thinking of you this holiday season.