I always have trouble mustering up the Christmas spirit. The year, I suspect, will be more difficult than most.
My favorite Aunt Carol died of cancer in June; I've lost several of my animals; I am faced with the stonecold hard fact that my parents are getting older and one, or both, may not be around for many more Christmases.
So to help remind me of the happy times and of all the blessings I have, I'm going to write about some of the Christmases I remember.
The most memorable Christmas for me was after my husband left me, our 7 yr old daughter, and 3 yr old son. We lived in a small town in the snowbelt at the time and even with all the snow, it didn't seem like Christmas. I felt so bad for my kids - they were hurting and so was I. My son, Ryan, didn't say a word about presents, Santa, or Christmas that year. He had none of the excitement that most all kids have around that time of year. Christmas eve, my soon-to-be ex-father in law stopped to pick us up for a party (I was, and remain to be, on good terms with my in-laws) and when we were walking out of the house, amid the heavy snowfall and wind, we could hear the sound of bells jingling. Under the shine of the streetlight, we saw the most realistic Santa Claus! and he said ho-ho-ho to the kids. Another heavy whoosh of the wind and blinding snow, and Santa was gone. It was truly magical. It was just what we needed - some magic. And what could have been the worst Christmas ever, really turned out to be one of the best.And Ryan, who is now 21, STILL believes in Santa!