While trimming the tree, we were struck by how many decorations represented connections to friends and loved ones who would not be part of this holiday season. Some have moved away, others have moved on and, of course, some have passed. In each case, the ornaments were there to remind us of them as we celebrated the season.
Change was not limited to the tree. In 2010, as each year recently, fewer decorations went up around the house. There are 5 Santa’s Villages that didn’t make it down from the attic. Decorating every room just hasn’t stayed the priority it used to be.
Please don’t misunderstand; our Christmas isn’t turning into something bleak or empty. It is simply evolving. Just as when the family was new and young, the holidays grew and expanded. Old traditions merged with new ones. There was change and that was good. This is change, now too, and that isn’t bad.
Sometimes things just are. Not better or worse, not more or less, just different. At an earlier time, we were too busy to notice, even in the midst of change. Now, things have slowed down a bit, allowing us to be more aware.
So, once again, we strung the lights and hung the ornaments. CD’s of old favorites filled the air with familiar songs. One at a time, ornaments came out of their boxes, each with its story. And there was time to let each one tell its tale, which meant an extra eggnog, another song, and the opportunity to enjoy a bit of all those Christmases upon which this one was built. All those friends. All that family. All that love in our lives.
Maybe that is part of the miracle of this special time of year. Christmas, Hanukah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, New Years, filling a season when we treasure memories of companionship and joy, love and fellowship.
Holiday upon holiday, we have somehow grown a bit grey and wrinkled but we’re still capable of a twinkle or two, which is just fine because Aging in Place doesn’t happen by accident.