But they were happy, grateful, pleased with one another, and contented with the time. (from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens)
This quote comes from the scene in which Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present are peeking in on the Cratchit family–a family that has very little fortune, but more than enough love to make up for it. It’s such a lovely, tender scene. It reminds me of my favorite things about Christmas–family and special traditions.
My family has managed to never be apart at Christmas, but this year was going to be different. My brother, who lives in Austin now, was scheduled to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so we weren’t going to get to see him until next week sometime. We did the things we usually do on Christmas Eve–visited with our dear friends the Donagheys, played games, laughed. But it was a little empty without Bryan here. My mom asked if I wanted to open my presents or wait (we’re traditionally Christmas Eve openers) and for the first time in my life I felt a little apathetic. It just wouldn’t be the same without my big brother. I did open one present, though, for tradition’s sake (and because I’m basically a child), but there wasn’t as much joy in it as usual. So, we all started getting ready to go to bed early, when to our great delight, Bryan burst in through the front door with presents in his arms! He had gotten off of work a little early and driven in for the night. It was the best Christmas gift for all of us, I think.
I’ve been thinking about family more than usual this Christmas because I’ve been away from mine, and I feel more than every the value of getting to be together on holidays. I’ve managed being away from home, away from family, away from friends, well enough these past several months in Boston. I’ve done a good job of pretending to be a grown up. But sometimes it feels like life is moving way to fast and I’m just not ready for all of the changes that time brings. Like a Christmas without my whole family. I know that a time is probably coming when we won’t be all together on this special day. I’m just so glad that it’s not this year.
I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas filled with people you love and that you have been happy, grateful, pleased with one another, and contented with the time, as my family has. Merry Christmas!