Christmas Has Different Meanings for All Mankind

The snow is starting to taper off as I watch through the window in my Mom’s house.  Christmas Eve draws to an end as Christmas morning looms near the horizon.  In some way, I wasn’t ready for this holiday season.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t plan for it.

Anyhoo, Christmas at home has taken a different spin these days with my family.  In Waterloo, it could be the final time that my grandparents and other members of my family will rent a room out at the local YWCA Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.  We have been doing that for almost 15 years.

Most of my cousins have gotten married and will be traveling to spend Christmas with their in-laws.  Some of them live out-of-state, and will not be able to come back. My sister, her family, and I are spending Christmas with Mom in the Quad Cities.

It feels like an end of an era, but the facts are real:  my cousins and I are no longer kids.  We’re adults now.  We can’t always go back home for everything:  holidays, weddings, funerals, or whatever comes up.

Christmas as a single person, does bring some regrets.  Not having a family of your own, no one to share the holiday with that isn’t your parents, siblings, and a goofy uncle or two.  For others, Christmas presents a wide range of emotional responses.  A painful or life-changing experience can make the holiday season be tough to get through.

For those who are less fortunate, Christmas, in the terms of materialistic means, may not be of importance.  Survival is.  Finding a place to stay warm, put food in the belly, and finding their way back to a normal life.

Christmas is defined in different ways and meanings for so many of us.  The only advice I can give to you on this Christmas is “take care of yourself.” We tend to get caught up with everything and everyone else, except for ourselves.

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