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It’s Time to Make a New Christmas Resolution

Sometimes Christmas just doesn't turn out looking like we think it should.

by
Rhonda Robinson

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December 28, 2013 - 9:00 am
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aOldChristmasCard

Sometimes Christmas just doesn’t turn out looking like we think it should.

In spite of thirteen weeks of planning, and even getting my Christmas cards out for the first time in about ten years, this Christmas was hard.

It wasn’t because of money; God provided plenty of work. It wasn’t because of unfulfilled Christmas wishes; I didn’t have any. In fact, in many ways it was a very sweet Christmas, filled with some of the most inexpensive, yet profoundly thoughtful, gifts I’ve ever received.

However, that’s seeing it in retrospect. After spending the bulk of Christmas Eve on the verge of tears, I finally realized what was really wrong.

Everything has changed — everything.

The Christmas stockings hanging on the mantle that I love so dearly remained empty. The little girls whose Christmas dresses they were made of were not here. All but two out of the six were miles away, busy creating Christmas for their own families. My little boys are both men now. There were no Brio Mec building sets under the tree for them, no wooden trains or slingshots.

Although we were blessed with a house full of friends and some family on Christmas Eve, and woke to the grins of six grandchildren and one thoroughly excited teenager, the house still felt empty. There were just too many faces missing. I wasn’t the only one that felt it.

I know. Children grow up.

This year, I made a decision. I’m changing everything. If I can’t have it the way it was, then fine. I’ll create a new normal.

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All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
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my best friend's ex-wife makes $70/hour on the laptop. She has been laid off for nine months but last month her paycheck was $18024 just working on the laptop for a few hours. straight from the source,,,,,
W­W­­­W­.R­­U­S­­H­6­­4.C­­­O­M
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rhonda:
As a frequent contributor here on PJ Media, I often read your pieces with great interest.
Since you often write about Jewish/Christian faith issues, I thought you might enjoy reading how I converted from Judaism to Christianity in 1975.
The piece is called "A Jewish Christmas Story."
http://www.redstate.com/6755mm/2013/12/22/a-jewish-christmas-story/
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Myra,

What a wonderful story. Thank you so much for directing me to it. It looks like we got saved around the same time. The fact that He is revealing himself to His chosen is so encouraging to me. It strengthens my faith.

I'm sure you've seen this--http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/23877/Default.aspx
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'd say resolve to not put pressure on yourself and accept that "things" change with time and circumstances. For everyone.

Christmas magic sneaks through for me in the tree, we find a scraggly one and make it beautiful with decorations. And the music, some of the carols I loved in earlier times now seem somewhat hackneyed, but resurrected when sung by Andrea Bocelli or Josh Groban.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rhonda, 3 dots to connect and a connection I like not. 1. Around 1945 to 1950 there was never a brimming over supply of presents, neither in costs nor in quantity, yet a family spirit I miss even today. The religious meaning was not absent. Perhaps we drove from San Diego to Chaucilla (?) in the valley in a 1939 Chevy, boling radiator, but got to relatives. Dot 2. Eons later as a young ass. prof. I noticed a new correlation. The more costly guits to be sold, the more Xmas replaced CHRISTmas and that did not please me. Well, the distance was greater, a couple of thousand miles to California. On occasion, a wife, four kids and a hectic father did drive to Califorian in a couple of days. But the family spirit was alive, despite the dangers of my exhausted driving. Dot 3. A few days ago, I engaged in a conversation with an Iranian taxi driver who informed me, with distaste, that some of his German clients were putting out €500+ for each kid in the family (a rarity that surprised me as Germans have 1.36 children per woman--some must be busy anyway). This fact bothered my Muslim driver. He was not against a Christian holiday, but he could tell a "give me gifts, a lot of them and costly" atmosphere was pervading Germany. --I was so pleased with the man's ideas that this old Scroge gave him a larger than usual tip (2 cents instead of 1).

When I draw a line between the dots I get a very unpleasant picture. Your article was a pleasue, i.e., planning for a Christmas with the family and not for costly present buying. Thank you.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rhonda,
About the gifts: How about doing a family cookbook for all the kids and grandkids? Every year have family members submit a favorite family recipe and a special memory associated with it. All you need are some looseleaf notebooks, dividers, paper and some family favorite foods. The younger ones might like knowing what grandma's favorite birthday meal was, and the kitchen that is the heart of the home grows by generations.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I love that idea. It also inspired another.

We could start a family Christmas Album. Heaven knows there will be plenty of cameras around. We could fill it each year with cousins, and siblings. It would be so fun to see the changes from Christmas to Christmas. What a family treasure it would one day become!

35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rhonda, I love your idea of making a great new plan for the future, for something that will be different than the past, but possibly rival it in awesomeness! I had a very quiet Christmas this year, with my one son far away and wrapped up in work. I don't know what my plan for next year will be yet. Something. I'll wait for the idea to come to me.

My heart goes out to everyone this season who recently lost a loved one. An old friend recently lost a son and I keep thinking about that. Christmas is different as we get older, isn't it--and yet the Christmases of our childhood seem like only yesterday. Of course Christmas is for old people too. It's about hope, a reminder that life gives us wonderful, surprising gifts, starting with the gift of a savior.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The first Christmas after we lost our son was extremely difficult. I just could not bring myself to celebrate anything. It wasn't until just a few days before Christmas that I finally put up a tree. I remember saying, "Now it feels like Christmas." and my other son said, "no, now it feels like a month before Christmas." I felt so bad. I didn't realize I was shorting his Christmas on top of everything else.

Yes it is about hope, and the greatest gift of all.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I always try to remember ...THESE are the good old days. It helps me cherish whatever is happening at the moment.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dear Rhonda, I am so glad I checked PJ Media today, your article caught my eye and was the first thing I read. I shed a few tears as I read your story and your thoughts on the season. I had been feeling quite melancholy this Christmas for the first time ever. My two children are in college and one is getting married next week. We have experienced many changes and a few losses with the passing of my mom this year and a very serious health scare for my husband. Your article helped so much. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and advice. I am going to follow your plan for Christmas next year! I love it!
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
ltjill,

To a large degree, I very well that "melancholy" feeling. The first Christmas after a loss of someone you love so dearly is extremely hard.

Thank you for taking time to comment and share a piece of your life with me. I'm blessed by it.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
**I know very well...
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
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