Anonymiss in DC

{December 23, 2008}   Christmas

Isn’t it interesting how Christmas is simultaneously one of the happiest and one of the saddest times of the year?

I don’t know why I was thinking about this. I guess because I turned on my homemade Pandora “Christmas” station this morning in the office, ready to feel all “Joy to the World” and instead got slammed with Joni Mitchell’s super melancholy “River”:

Its coming on Christmas
They’re cutting down trees
They’re putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace


Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly

But it’s okay.  All of us,  or at least a lot of us, will have some bittersweet moments this Christmas.  And why shouldn’t we?

I’m not religious at all, but once a year, at Christmas, I try to haul myself off to church.  Mainly, I think I do it because I enjoy the chance to sing Christmas carols no one realizes I actually know my heart, but I think I also do it because I need the time to stop and think about all the things I’m grateful to have in my life, or to have had in my life.

This Christmas, I’ll be remembering the people who are longer in my life but who have brought so much to it, in one way or another. People like my great aunt, who slipped away from life last spring before I could get home to say goodbye.

This will be the first Christmas in my life where I won’t see her. And while it breaks my heart, it is true what they say, that these people are always with you, in your heart, in your memories, and in the ways you live your life. My aunt made me cherish my family.  She made me remember that no matter how much time you think you have, that you should make sure  the people you love know how they mean to you.

So may we all remember that this Christmas when we are with the ones that we love who are with us. No one wants to be all mushy or weepy on Christmas, so skip it. But don’t skip that goodbye hug– that chance to let Grandma tell you about HER childhood Christmases– that chance to play “house” with your nieces and nephews.

Life is just too short.

Merry Christmas to all.

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