Christmas In Our Hearts

16 Dec

Every year, for as long as I remember, I pretend to grumble and grouch over the tasks of the holidays. And every year, at the end of the season. I grouse and bellyache some more, those times reserved solely for missing the season and wishing it were upon us again.

Not this year.

There will be none of the tinsel-throwing I have gotten used to from the kids. None of the careful unwrapping of heirloom ornaments from their crumbly tissue paper. None of Alphonse’s sleight of hand tricks with his favorite ball ornaments. Even the Christmas lighting ceremony we are used to, with A♥ waving his hands in the air like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice conjuring magic, is now but a memory of Christmases past.

This year, because Alphonse still does not seem to adapt well to change, we have decided not to put up the ten-foot tree and all its trimmings. We have not put up our blinking lights or the garlands that graced the stairs. Gone, too, are the wreaths and Christmas socks that bear the boys’ names. They are all in their boxes still, the first time in more than twenty years that they will not see light this time of the year.

I feel the loss as much and as deeply as I feel the loss of life as we knew it. In the last month of the year, almost twelve months since Alphonse got sick, we have only begun to resume the normal cycles of our home life. We live in a state of fragile peace and if sacrificing superficial trappings is all it took to save that peace, we are content to live with a bare, unadorned home.

Still, I sense a sadness in the people who live with me, a kind of grief and regret that often seem too trivial to talk about but are felt, nonetheless. In their unspoken sorrow, I realized that while Christmas will always be in our hearts, sometimes, you have to risk a little to remember that this is all about Him who risked and gave up His life for us.

So yesterday, when I woke up, I brought out a small box of decorations. The nannies were confused. I could hear them whispering among themselves. After a few minutes, when they saw what I did, even they broke out in large smiles.

“We’ll put the tree away when Alphonse is around, Ate,” one said.

“And I’m sure he won’t mind too much the ones on the mantle. They’re out of the way and out of his reach naman,” another said.

“If Alphonse throws them, they won’t break!” chimed another.

“The size of your gifts will be proportional to the size of our tree then,” I kidded and they all laughed.

And with that one single moment, amid the smiles and cheers, Christmas was back in our lives.

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3 Responses to “Christmas In Our Hearts”

  1. Just A Friend December 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Love your story, Kittymama! Have a good Christmas and God bless your family always.

  2. mariafleischman December 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    Love your story too — So glad you brought out the Christmas decorations! n___n

  3. leira December 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    this year small display lang ang meron kami baka mabigla si Kuya pag may sudden changes

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