But it's not like Christmas at all,
Beause I remember when you were here
Familiar lyrics to a popular Christmas song. Completely new meaning this year.
For the first time ever it doesn't really feel like Christmas. I used to look so forward to Christmas and all the hoopla surrounding decorating and gift-giving and cookie baking. There was definitely a different spirit in the air unlike any other time of year. It really was the "season to be jolly".
But it doesn't really feel the same this year. It feels really hard to celebrate. A part of me is missing and every holiday experience just sheds more light on that missing piece.
I am so thankful to have little memories of Evie in our Christmas decorating this year - a pretty pink stocking and lots of little ornaments on our tree. I really do treasure them. But in all honesty those sweet mementos are also a sad reminder that my little girl isn't here.
Pretty lights on the tree,
I'm watching them shine,
You should be here with me,
Baby, please come home.
Ah, if only it were that easy. But it will never be. My baby will spend this Christmas and infinity more in Heaven. But even all the comfort knowing she has a heavenly home can't erase the painful realization that she will never spend Christmas with us.
It's been a hard several weeks as we've celebrated two birthdays, one major holiday, and anticipate celebrating the biggest holiday of the year. I've felt quite somber lately.
I am trying, though, to be thankful and focus on the good. But it's really hard when your heart hurts so badly.
But even though this Christmas holds sadness it has also opened up my heart to new things. For the first time I feel very near to the manger story. I feel very near to the quietness of Christmas. My heart feels very connected to a young mother who welcomed her newborn Son into the world and pondered quietly in her heart the difficult road He would face. Although I have always been thankful for Christ's birth, losing Evie has made me even more thankful for the baby who came to fulfill God's plan for the world.
So that is where my heart lies this holiday season; still freshly grieving the loss of my daughter, quietly pondering the spirit of the first Christmas, and ultimately grateful for the Heaven made possible by the coming of a sweet babe in a manger.
What does Christmas look like to you this year?
If you haven't heard these songs before I hope you enjoy them. One is from Joseph's perspective the other from Mary's. I think they each capture the quietness of Christmas in a really powerful way.