Tonight my husband and I witnessed our older daughter singing her first solo during our church pageant. She sang beautifully, and the piece was very moving. Our younger daughter was the lead angel and did a lovely job preparing the manger for Mary and Joseph and the holy child. A live goat and sheepdog were part of the tableau.
We came home and had a lovely dinner including a sirloin tip roast and root vegetables, and then watch some family favorites while we unwound. Quite a far cry from the last few Christmases. Everyone in the home is content especially the cat, who is curled up on top of the cable box that is probably the warmest place in the house.
So why do I feel blue and slightly out of sorts? Nothing rational explains it. My husband said that it is probably the let-down from working way too hard in the last year. He’s likely correct because he knows me better than just about anyone else. It could be the stress of preparing for the holiday. Or it could be none of the above.
Part of me remembers a person who, decades ago, made me feed ashamed for wanting Christmas and birthday presents (the two events occur a day apart). I no longer remember the circumstances, only the scorn. It may be the echoes of that long-distant, isolated event that still sting. Even now, I find that I’m uncomfortable receiving presents, although I adore giving them. I think that in recognizing the source of this pain, I’ve come some of the way toward finding peace.
Maybe that will be the best gift this year.