Holiday season is in full swing here at my house, and as I attempted (and failed miserably) to bake a batch of butter cookies (like Grandma used to make, only hers were edible), I began to think about all the family members who aren't here to celebrate with us. Grandparents, parents, cousins...all are missed keenly, and I think maybe more so at Christmastime. Then it occurred to me. They may not be here with us in the sense in which we'd like, but they're still here.
They're still here in the whisper of memories. Every time we laugh over a funny memory, they are here.
They're still here in the smile of a child. Haven't you ever done a double-take when one of your kids flashes you a smile and you think, "That's just like Dad smiles." My Dad's still with us, but my oldest son shares what I call "Dad's BLEEP-eatin' grin"...and yanno, come to think on it, I'm certain my Uncle, who sadly is no longer with us, had that very same smile. He is here.
Wherever butter cookies are made using Grandma's recipe, she is there. (Shaking her head with dismay during my attempts, but saying something positive about my efforts anyway.) She is here.
It's in a phrase you hear, maybe one of their favorites, that tells you they are here when someone uses it, even if it's used unknowingly or only means something to the one who hears it used.
Every time their favorite Christmas carol is played on the radio, they are here.
Every time someone says, "Hey, remember when Grandpa/Grandma/Uncle John/Cousin did this?" They are here.
Where there is love, we'll all be there.
So set out to make good memories to leave behind for that inevitable day when you're the one who is being missed. You'll be there, too.
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
~Norman Vincent Peale
Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.
~Laura Ingalls Wilder
It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.