I keep thinking that I need to write a recap of Dave’s party. For now I will say that it was definitely Dave worthy – the right mix of ceremony and sloppiness, a few tears and lots of laughs. More on that later this week.
I have decided that I don’t think that it is the holidays that are going to get me. It is the days and weeks surrounding them that are full of land mines. Yesterday at the mall, I could barely stand to look at the signs that said “Gifts for Him”. Families standing in line to visit Santa (Frozen themed complete with Olaf, no less), made me melancholy for Christmases past. Last year, I was annoyed with Dave for one reason or another and so he took the kids to see Santa, while I walked off in a huff to look at shops. I can’t beat myself up over that, but I would do it differently if I had the opportunity.
Each year we drive out to a Christmas tree farm, drink hot cider and then trek around the hills looking for the perfect tree. Dave always wanted a short, fat tree. I was always on the look out for one that had sturdy enough branches to hold the ornaments but not so prickly that you had to wear gloves while decorating it. Somehow the five of us would come to a consensus, cut down the tree, drag it down the mountain and then face the challenge of tying it to the top of the car. Last year we decided to just put it in the car with us. Poor Parker had quite the crowed ride home. This year, we are going to Miami and Key West for Christmas so we are talking about getting a small artificial tree.
The thought of decorating makes my heart ache. Dave and I always tackled the job of getting the tree in the house, putting it into the stand and then stringing the lights. Then the kids would join us for decorating. Each ornament that comes out belongs to someone and has a story behind it. Whoever took out monopoly man handed it to Dave since that was his favorite ornament. Many of the ornaments tell the history of our family. Some personalized with just my name and Dave’s. Then as our family grew, so did the names inscribed. Dog bone shaped ornaments bear the names of family pets past and present. There were always laughs and stories told as we decorated the tree with Christmas music playing in the background and sipping on eggnog along the way. I cannot bear the thought of looking through those ornaments this year.
Dave and I always made a date night out of Christmas shopping for the kids. Armed with their wish lists in hand, we would head out for dinner and discuss what we might buy. Then we would hit the stores with a vengeance determined to finish as much as we could in one night. Inevitably, we would have an equal number of gifts for each child and Dave would find something that he just had to get one of them. That used to make me crazy. I would then go out and even things up for the other two when he would return home again in the week or so preceding Christmas with another random extra gift. Then the cycle would begin again. He couldn’t help himself.
A sort of heaviness has been sitting with me today. I don’t know if it is because Sam is on her way back to school or because we are facing the next holiday or a combination of several factors. I have been told that the six month mark can be challenging for many people. We will hit that milestone just before Christmas. I believe that I always try to look for the positives in any situation no matter how difficult. I guess that will continue to be the game plan as we move through these upcoming days and weeks.