I was out doing the last of my Christmas shopping. I was at my first stop. I was walking around Wal-Mart crossing things off my list when I got a text that stopped me in my tracks. Something that had me questioning why I was running around when really the wrapped gifts under the tree are the least important part of the season.
See my dear friend of 17 years texted me to tell me that her grandfather passed away. She is not the first of my friends to lose a grandparent during this magical season. It almost seems impossible that something like that should happen because of all the decor and happiness that is going on around us. While I was running around trying to find all the perfect gifts my friend’s heart was breaking. See he was more than a grandfather to her. He raised her and she loved him in a way that a little girl would love her father.
This simple text made me step back mentally and take stalk of what this season is meant to be. It is not about the gifts. It is not about the cookies and gingerbread. It is not about the stupid elf. It is about the ones you love. See as a mom I am the magic maker of Christmas in our house. But yesterday all I wanted was to snuggle with my family, hold them tight, and love them.
I recently posted on my Instagram a picture of a picture of me and my Gram. It was taken at Christmas time. I said all the things I would have done if I had know it would be my last Christmas with her. None of those things were running around getting presents and stressing myself out. This man who is no longer with us lived a full life and has family that will feel the impact of his loss while the rest of us are moving on. If they knew last year it would be the last Christmas I am sure there were some things they would have done more of and some less of.
See this Christmas my friend’s table will have a little more space. The space he filled in her life will be empty. Her family will still be trying to process and adapt to a life without him when we all wake up to our stockings on Christmas morning. So as I sit here knowing I will see my friend in a couple of days. I will give my condolences to her mom, aunts, and grandmother. I am also going to do my best to get less caught up in what I think I have to do to make Christmas magical but do what I know I have to and that is love my family. Spend quality time with the ones I love. I will do those traditions that mean the most and not stress about making it to this or that Christmas event, concert, etc. I am going to make time to sit and watch Elf and Rudolph because we love those movies.
This Christmas I will give my heart to those that matter most. I will give my time to the things that really matter. I challenge you to do the same.