Christmas is here, and the halls are decked with boughs of holly. I love the lights and actually wish people would keep them up all year round, their glitter and shimmer make me smile. Of course, our lives are transformed this time of year when we shop. Are you the type that shops throughout the year, hoping desperately that the person you will be showering the gifts on hasn’t completely changed their taste, their ideas on what to be a collector of, or outgrown that stage of their life…completely? Or are you the one that starts after Thanksgiving and a week before Christmas, has wrapped the last gift, baked the last cookie and sent out the last card? Maybe you are the last minute shopper who could wind up spending more time shopping because you waited too long, and the ideas you had are gone, all you see are shelves decked out with emptiness as desperation hits you and the words of “crap, why did I wait” lingering on your lips. No matter how you shop, Christmas day is almost here. The floors will be dressed in ripped paper, forgotten ribbons and maybe even a kitten or two who are easily entertained by the colorful wrappings you have discarded.

As hard as it is for me, I didn’t go to Washington this year. The price of travel is high, and money doesn’t go as far when the savings have become less than desirable. I will have a quiet Christmas with family here, and that’s okay, because they love me and I love them. But that doesn’t ease the pain of not being with my family. Two of my grandchildren will adorn themselves on Christmas Eve in the pajamas we sent, but I won’t be hugging their soft clothed bodies goodnight…instead I’ll have the picture sent from my daughter’s phone to mine of their smiling faces, and that will have to do. With a childhood background many people only read about, Christmas…as are most holidays…can be tough on me, my emotions layering my sleeves like bricks, weighing me down at times. Before I moved to Colorado, I got through them because I had my sisters, my children and my grandchildren…and who could want for more, not me, that’s for sure. I will buck up and make the most of my Christmas day; I’ll eat, laugh and enjoy everyone I visit with, then surely sleep like a log that night.

Some of you have read my blogs and may wonder why I stay in Colorado when I am clearly tortured by the fact my family is a million miles away, and all I can say is because I love my husband. I have a good life here as I’ve mentioned in prior blogs and Facebook postings. I’m blessed with a husband that puts our lives as his priority and is providing a life for us wherever necessary, and right now that is in Colorado. I can’t leave just because I miss my family…though that seems like an easy solution, my love for my marriage continues to win out. Sitting in the evening laughing together at a show, or having a quiet dinner chat with the soft sounds of Yanni in the background is what spins the reality of life as I know it now. I’ll admit, every time we have an argument, the place I’ll always call home…that being Washington…looks very tempting. But I can’t run from one world to another without knowing the world I leave will be sorely missed. So I live with the torture of knowing I would be welcomed home with open arms, but choose to keep the companionship of my husband and my simple life here in sunny Colorado…though I admit our skies are currently filled with a layer of whitish-gray clouds, a sure sign snow is closing in.

For all of you that are blessed to be surrounded by everyone you love, I have no doubt you feel your blessings ten-fold. For those of us that have family we will miss; I hope the next time you get to visit with them, the missed holiday will be forgotten as you wrap yourself in their love and comfort.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you.