I was running some errands over my lunch hour on Tuesday when a favorite Faith Hill song began flowing from my radio.
â€œWhere are you Christmas? Why canâ€™t I find you? Why have you gone away?
â€œWhere is the laughter you used to bring me? Why canâ€™t I hear music play?â€
I began to sing along â€” a bit off-key, Iâ€™m sure â€” as I drifted toward thoughts of Christmases past.
Where are you Christmas? I know youâ€™re just four days away, but it sure doesnâ€™t seem like it. Maybe itâ€™s because our family wonâ€™t be gathering until New Yearâ€™s.
Then again, Iâ€™m pretty sure it doesnâ€™t feel like Christmas because Iâ€™ve lost that magical feeling about the holidays. Christmas as an adult is so much less fun than Christmas as a child.
â€œMy world is changing. Iâ€™m rearranging. Does that mean Christmas changes too?â€
As a child, it always seemed to take forever for Christmas to come and, when it was all over we were too preoccupied with our new toys to despair about how quickly the presents were opened, the parties over and the decorations removed from the tree.
It seemed like we had Saturday morning practices the entire month of December to prepare for the church Christmas program. And then there were the school Christmas concerts, the 4-H Christmas party potluck and the annual Christmas trek over the river (Minnesota River) and through the woods (of North Redwood) to grandmotherâ€™s house in Kandiyohi County.
â€œWhere are you Christmas? Do you remember the one you used to know?
â€œIâ€™m not the same one; See what the timeâ€™s done. Is that why you have let me go?â€
My Christmas tree has been up and decorated since Thanksgiving, the lights have sparkled and the presents have neatly been stashed underneath.
Each night for the past month, Iâ€™ve sat mere inches away from the tree as Iâ€™ve worked calluses into the tips of my fingers trying to finish up my latest needlework project for nephew Matt. Iâ€™ve been so busy stitching that I havenâ€™t even taken the time to soak up the Christmas spirit.
Each year, for at least one night, I like to sit in the dark and admire my illuminated tree â€” no distracting sounds from the TV, just the sparkle of the lights bouncing off the ornaments and me with my thoughts of the holiday.
â€œI feel you Christmas. I know Iâ€™ve found you. You never fade away
â€œThe joy of Christmas stays here in silence â€” fills each and every heart with love.â€
Hereâ€™s wishing all of you a merry Christmas. May you find the spirit of the season within you and have safe travels wherever the holidays may take you.