Best Christmas ever? I know what one of mine was. Like to hear about it?
My 'best Christmas ever' has to do with one person, not with gifts or parties or decorations or Christmas movies.
And that person is my sister!
This picture of me and my sister was taken in 1967. We could laugh at nothing at all, or at everything. We find the same things funny. She is a little older than me so she has been in my life from the very beginning.
Grown-up Christmases are different than childhood Christmases. There are constant changes. Mine were spent mostly with my husband's small family. Afterwards we would rush off making the five hour trip to Toronto to join my larger family. All of that travelling took the edge off of the festivities somewhat because I would be too tired to enjoy everyone once I got there.
Then the babies started to come bringing more changes. When my oldest daughter was born and I was pregnant with my second baby, I had some complications and since that baby was due in February my doctor suggested I not travel. My parents were willing to leave my sister behind in Toronto with her in-laws, and join me and my family and my in-laws for Christmas. I was grateful for that and even though it made our living room a little fuller there was still something missing.
On Christmas morning my sister called around 6 am, knowing I would be up, and said that her kids had been up since 5, they had already opened gifts and were on their way to her in-laws.
As my husband and parents and I enjoyed watching our little girl and getting food ready for Christmas dinner, I couldn't help but think of all of the past Christmases. And then around noon an unexpected car rolled into our driveway. It looked like my sister's car, but how? Apparently they had been preparing the surprise all along, everyone knew but me.
I ran out into the cold, sobbing tears of joy, and took my sister in my arms. Right then I knew what had been missing from my adult Christmases – my sister.
That was my 'best Christmas ever' up to that point.
I suppose I could say that my sister is one of my best Christmas crash helmets. When she was with me I was much less likely to crash over Christmas.
And for several years after that, we made sure we were together at Christmas. For a long time, it just wasn't Christmas if my sister wasn't there.
Well, there have been a lot of Christmases since. My sister has lived in the states since 1994 and we no longer get together for Christmas. But we still get together and laugh at stuff that only we two find funny. Here is a recent picture of us dear old sisters at Myrtle Beach where we see each other once a year. It is as good as Christmas for me.
My 'best Christmas ever' is still etched in my memory. I am thankful to have some good Christmas memories to look back on as well as some good ones to look forward to.
That doesn't mean that I don't find Christmas stressful. Mental illness is a struggle all the time and sometimes Christmas can add to that struggle.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? How are you feeling today? How are you coping with Christmas stress so far? Do you have some happy Christmas memories? Will you be able to glean something positive about of this particular Christmas?
I am so glad you dropped by Depression Getaway today. There is hope for depression. Don't give up. I am praying for you right now.
Thank you for each treasured person reading this right now. If they have painful Christmas memories please bring healing to that. If they are stressing over Christmas right now please help them with that. Show them how much you love them Lord,