By Lisa Huddleston
What is it about this time of year that always brings tears to my eyes? Try as I may to be joyful, the nostalgia always gets the better of me. Always. And it really makes me sad. (Maybe it does that to others, too, accounting for the lovely, haunting, minor keys of so many of my favorite Christmas songs.)
This morning I saw clips from a long-ago Christmas episode of “I Love Lucy” and almost choked on the sadness I felt. Why? What is my problem? Christmas is a happy time. “I Love Lucy” was a comedy! My brain knows that, but my heart feels tugged into melancholy, and I can’t seem to fight against the tow.
My youngest cousin’s “Throwback Thursday” pic of my long-deceased and dearly-loved grandparents. Framed photos of my young children tentatively balanced on Santa’s lap. These treasured pictures I almost left in the basement this year along with the rubber tubs of carefully wrapped decorations and beautiful lights and even the two Christmas trees I decided to forego and replace with more subtle and less space-consuming reminders. The more muted nativity scenes, the natural beauty of the woods–these I have allowed. The pictures of the kids and some Santas here and there are okay. But I just can’t handle the crowded, the gaudy, and the obtrusive.
So I do what I must. I plan menus and feed those who gather and whom I truly, dearly love. And I try to leave room for normalcy–some sense of today and not just of memories. Room where the Christmas tree used to block my path. Room for the carefully preserved photographs on my cleared countertops. And room for the tears that come in spite of my best efforts.
Christmas just does that to me. And I have to make room the best ways I can.
“And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).