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My intention, through the Christmas season, was to stay busy. I needed to stay focused on good memories or I knew that I would have a meltdown. I had my moments. I just missed my mom so much…and I always miss my dad. I guess it would have been easier to not “celebrate” Christmas this year. I have no small children and there are no grandchildren so no real reason to decorate or bake and all those things that go with Christmas. Something just pushed me. I felt the need to go all out. It’s funny because for the last few years I just haven’t put much effort into Christmas other than just what I needed to do.

This year…I decorated my tree just the way I’ve been wanting to. I have been on the lookout for more Little House inspired ornaments these last couple of years to fill my tree. I gave my kids the ornaments from their growing up years so I have more space on the tree to fill. I started making a button string garland which isn’t finished yet (ran out of time :)). I love the tree this year. Even Jim doesn’t want me to take it down yet.

This year…I baked like I haven’t baked in a very long time…sugar cookies, gingerbread man cookies, candy topped oatmeal bars, peanut butter kiss cookies, and a huge favorite (with everyone but me) butterscotch bars. I made gingerbread, four pies and Jesus’ birthday cake. My family was thrilled!

This year…I made our Christmas cards. I’ve never made Christmas cards before. I almost backed out, but Jim guilted pushed me to finish. They turned out okay, but I know I can do better. Next year, I may just try again. They were Little House inspired, of course!

This year…I participated in two gift exchanges related to Laura Ingalls Wilder and also a card exchange with the LIW listserv. I will write about one of the gift exchanges within the next day or two. It was a fun project to be involved in and, although I’m not a crafty person, my partner was happy with her gift(s)!

This year…I didn’t totally obsess about shopping and gifts. Well, okay, just a little when Jim (who was in charge of shopping for Jon) waited until the week of Christmas to start his shopping. I cut down this year, but still did more than I had planned.

This year…I also hosted a Christmas Eve luncheon with my family. My mother started the tradition, when she moved back to Michigan after my dad died, of getting together on Christmas Eve for lasagna, salad, rolls and lots of desserts. It was important to keep her tradition going. My sister, who has wonderful cooking and baking talents, made the lasagna and brought some pies. So, it was actually a very simple and enjoyable day.

Jim, Jamie, and I then went to Christmas Eve mass at 10pm. It was beautiful. The music was just wonderful. Jim and I had stepped away from church for the last couple of months. It was just something we needed to do. Some things have come up and we needed to step back, take a break, and make some decisions. Christmas Eve was a good time to return…

New Year’s Eve is reserved for Jim’s family. For several years, we have gotten together with his siblings (and whatever grandchildren can make it) and eat and play games. It has become our time to get together during the holidays. I came down with a stomach bug this year and sent Jim on his own.

I missed not being with Jim for our New Year’s kiss. He came home shortly after midnight. By then, I was having some kind of a meltdown. Really. It seemed to all catch up with me and I needed to cry. And I did. And that’s what Jim came home to.

I’m okay now. Sometimes I just need to cry.

My holidays were good though. I got some really cool gifts. Little House inspired, of course. Laura Ingalls Wilder has had a tremendous presence here this year! That’s a good thing, because that Laura has helped this Laura a great many times in my life!


One thought on “Christmas

  1. I think your holiday (minus the stomach bug) sounds wonderful Laura! Your carrying on the traditions and while remembering (you're always going to remember) you're making new memories, for you, for your husband and children. You keep on keeping on, I'm in your corner and I'm rooting you on 🙂 Traditions whether in the home or in the church are our guidebook through life's trials, tribulations and struggles. Keep on smiling, I know somehow you are and will continue!

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