Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shadows and Ghosts of Christmas' Past

The other day, I was driving down Line Avenue in my hometown and had to stop when I saw this tree. The way the light was filtering through the leaves made it glow. I wish I could have captured that glow in this photo. You don't see a lot of leaves this color in Louisiana. For more Shadow Shots, go here!


And now for something completely different. For the last few years, Christmas tends to find me a little blue. I think it's four things.

1. My children aren't little children anymore. They've lost some of that magic that I used to see sparking in their eyes when they were younger. They try, but it's just gone. Same thing happens with birthdays as you get older. And mostly, it's harder to create that magic for them now. A candy cane and a cup of hot chocolate just doesn't muster up the same excitement. They're teenagers and so they spend a lot of their christmas vacation with friends. I miss them.

2. The darkness.

3. The effect the darkness has on my sweet hubby. I have never seen anyone in my life who despises winter like he does. So, naturally, he retreats a little. To his cave. And his Xbox. And in general, just seems a little...well, absent. I miss him.

This is what he looks like and where he sits pretty much all winter long. Note the scowl, the popcorn and the jacket. Always with the jacket.

4. This is the second Christmas since my grandmother died. It seems strange without her here. When I was a kid, we spent every holiday at her house and those are some of my sweetest childhood memories. Oh, how I miss her.

And to add to all of this, my best friend is in a wonderful relationship with a great guy so she's a little absent at the moment, too. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy for her, I just miss her.

Things just seem different this year. Not necessarily bad, just different. So I spent a few days feeling blue and pitiful and then I decided to make the most of it. I'll use some of lonely time to catch up on my many great books that need my attention. And catch up on my writing. I still have an unfinished novel from Nanowrimo that needs my attention. One of my goals for this year was to finish said novel. That leaves me a few weeks. I'm such a procrastinator.

And I've also decided that the christmas tree is MINE this year. No one wants to help me decorate the little guy so guess what? The box of sentimental ornaments in the attic from years past is staying in the attic. This year, the tree is going have blue lights and very few ornaments. It's going to be simple. Maybe I'll make ornaments. I can learn to be crafty! Maybe my colors will strictly be blue and brown. I never liked forest green or red anyway. Or maybe I'll just go with the blue lights and a string of popcorn. My little Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
And he and I, the tree that is, will have a very, merry little christmas. And find new ways in which to celebrate doing things for complete strangers.

Those stories to follow...


Dan Kent said...

You are not alone. We are here with you.

And absence cannot be defined except by what is left - look at that. ;)

And it's a beautiful tree, no matter how simply you decorate. :)

And no scowl can beat that scowl. There's something to be said about that! Right?

Stevey said...

Thanks, Dan...really. It warms my heart to know that someone whom I've never even met in person can say something so tender and personal. You're right...I'm not alone. And yes, that scowl is worth a lot. :)

Melinda said...

Sigh. That comment wasn't from Stevey, it was from me. Stevey is my daughter who apparently was the last one logged on...wonder if she's been reading my blog? Hmmm....

Diahn said...

I thought that comment sounded more like Melinda than Stevey...

wow. skipper looks really mean in that picture. that's scary.

Love your shadow - I can't believe you can still find a tree with leaves on it...weird.

Melinda said...

He was actually scowling because he hates having his picture taken. He can pull off a mean one.

You must have forgotten winters in Louisiana...there's trees everywhere fully clothed!

Lisa said...

Maybe the magic is still there--it's just somewhere you haven't thought to look before :) And I would LOVE to drink hot cocoa and eat a candy cane while we look at the blue lights on your tree. Maybe I'll even whip up a twig tree-topper and bring it over! Haha

Linda said...

:-D Even when you write about shadows and ghosts of the past and kind of sad stuff you make me smile. Finish that book and let us read it. Decorate that tree and show us photos! Or not. Whatever gets you through ... through the ... through the darkness.

bleigh said...

Christmas feels very different when our children aren't little anymore... The "magic" seems to fade a little... I miss my Grandma, too. The world is a different place without her in it. New ways to make memories and celebrate the holiday sounds wonderful. Let me know what you find. I love you, my old friend!!!