This day is full of emotion. I think I am feeling challenged by the holidays this year. There is little tradition in this new place I call home – a home I chose with much excitement. For many people it is clear that we are in the season of traditions. Even though I am living in a place of choice, I fight the longing to be somewhere else.
And where would that be? My own family has gone through so much transition in the last twelve months. Each household has moved to a new home which is exciting and unsettling at the same time. I am certain that the search for tradition is a common feeling around the Craig clan right now.
There are many things different this year. I am remembering the parties and gatherings with members of church and friends, the time spent in my parent’s home of 10+ years filled with familiar smells and decorations and the warmth of my favorite restaurants where many friends gathered and celebrations were common. I am remembering my companion of 9 years, Lilly, who is no longer by my side ready to dress her in festive collar and leash.
These are things I miss as I try to make adjustments during these first days of December. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love this time of the year. I look forward to the evenings when I decorate my home – filling it with things that reflect my life and faith in preparation for friends and family to gather and celebrate.
This year is very different. I have just returned from my storage unit with three boxes of Christmas decorations. The first box I opened unleashed a flood of memories that took my breath. To get thru this day will be important. With my new home decorated, I hope to feel the comfort of familiar. In the next couple of weeks, I will welcome friends and family as they join me during this holiday. And when all is said and done I will not need to go through another “first” Christmas in this new place, my home.
I am grateful. Surrounded by the beauty of nature and a location filled with creativity, there are many new things to draw my attention and inspire my devotion. I have every reason to be grateful.
With that being said, it is time to be brave. Time to pull out the Kleenex box and began unwrapping items of Christmas that shape my story. I know all will be well, but this is a time I use those words in faith, looking ahead when the calendar brings me around to another Christmas and I am blessed with a stronger sense of belonging.