What Does Christmas Mean to You?

I am in Canada with my oldest daughter, Veronika, and my granddaughter, Eliora as I am writing this. My youngest daughter, Natasha, is also here with us. Unfortunately, my husband, Bill, could not get the time off to be with us.

Christmas will be different for all of us this year. Although, Christmas changed dramatically when I made the decision to leave my, now ex-husband of thirty plus years in 2013. We did manage to share Christmas together with the entire family (son, Peter and daughter-in-law, Carol included) in 2013. Then the following years, the children did Christmas with their father and then did either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with me.

Veronika and Eliora will be leaving December 23rd to meet Veronika’s husband, Joe, in the Netherlands and they will be celebrating Christmas in the Netherlands. Peter and Carol can only get Christmas Day off from their work schedule. Bill is only able to get Christmas Day off as well. I decided to come up to Canada prior to the 23rd so I could get some time with Veronika and Eliora. Natasha has a break from her college program and is in Canada with us. Peter and Carol did take a long weekend and we all managed to get together with my parents and had a small Christmas exchange.

Veronika, Eliora, Natasha and I also got together with very close family friends last weekend for a Christmas celebration. My parents and brother were also there. It was wonderful to see everyone and be with the babies.

My daughter-in-law Carol, is not happy that she only has Christmas day off and is pretty depressed that she can’t be with family. I suggested, to my son, that they help out at a homeless shelter and he is looking into that. Natasha is going to be with her brother and sister-in-law for the week. I wish I could be with my son and his wife Christmas Day but the drive back and forth is not comfortable for us. I want to be with Bill. I have invited Bill’s sisters, brothers-in-law and nieces and nephews over for Christmas cheer.

But I will not have my children with me for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I am still not sure how I will feel about that. I am grateful that I could spend time with my parents and the children when I could. Family time is what Christmas means for me. This is my favorite time of year.

Yes, it also means the birth of Jesus and that is important to me. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son to us. We have watched many nativity stories and I have cried over all of them. This is the greatest gift of all. For all the Christmas wish lists that everyone makes up, the giving is more important to me than the receiving. So when God gave us Jesus, I can only imagine the depth of love God has for us. This is what Christmas means to me.