What is missing?

December begins tomorrow but, for the past few weeks I couldn’t help noticing a distinct lack of general Christmas cheer. The shop displays seem to be small, the lights in the town are the same as last year and the year before and the year before that, plus I have had a surprising amount of difficulty in finding even the supposedly simpler presents for the people I love.

I confess that I started making my Christmas cards later than I would’ve liked this year and I can’t remember where I put my favourite Christmas earrings from last year but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what this time of year means to me.

Christmas in the house I have grown up in is all about family. We have our traditions and we like them. For example, on Christmas Eve, we all sit together and, for as long as I can remember, my dad reads ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’ by Clement Clark Moore to us all. So, imagine my surprise, when last year my dad handed the book to me and asked me to read. I’m the oldest of my siblings and I love my family very much so having the opportunity to read that book to them really was a gift I won’t forget.

I can’t help but feel slightly dejected to think that, maybe, what is missing this year is the feeling of surprise, delight and joy – the very things I felt when my dad handed me that book and asked me to read.

When I think about moments like that, and I will admit that there are many happy memories, I think about how these traditions may be started. I wrote in my last blog post that I am writing a short Christmas story about two of my original characters and it’s not easy to let go and simply write when I’m a little bit disappointed with the general lack of Christmas spirit in my hometown. So, I think about the good memories and I try to imagine the new traditions, the reasons why my characters are excited for the holiday season and why they’ll be just as excited for the next holiday together.

I love Christmas for so many reasons but the main one is because of the people I know who make the whole year special. So, if you’ve made me smile, or laugh, if you have listened or talked or if you have done any one of a thousand things that made me stop for a moment and appreciate what I know then thank you. I hope that you have an excellent holiday and I wish that you discover the feelings of surprise, delight and joy in a moment you won’t forget.

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