Well, we've arrived. Today is December, which means that 2016 only has a few weeks left.
It's also Think Write Thursday, and today, Carole and Kat have given us the topic "Hello, December."
******Hello, December ~ I hope you know how glad I am to see you, but also how bittersweet you are to me.
I love it when you show up, because Christmastime is one of my favorite times of all. Unlike most people I know, I don't find the season stressful or annoying. Rather, I look forward to the decorations, the music, the feeling of anticipation, and the fun of making or buying gifts for people.
I love it when you are cold, because to me, December is supposed to be cold. I love that you are dark, because it makes the lights of the season and the idea of the Winter Solstice seem more special and beautiful. I wish you would be at least a little bit snowy, but that seems to be something only in my childhood memories most of the time now.
I think you like showing up and making people pay attention. Even those who do not celebrate any holiday realize that it might be time to wrap up some plans, and/or start thinking ahead to what will be next. It's hard to travel through December and not notice something!
Then again, I think of my mother's birthday on December 2, and how we would ease into Christmastime between Thanksgiving and then, and then afterwards, it was full speed ahead. I remember what fun it would be to make sure that she had a birthday, and not a Christmas/birthday combination.
My father LOVED Christmastime, and is most likely the person who passed that love on to me. He'd be so busy with decorations, and cooking, and wrapping gifts. And he'd always ask us if we didn't think he sounded just like Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby when he'd sing Christmas carols (the answer, in cas.e you are wondering, was always "no").
All the Christmases we would all be together, in one place all at once, having so much fun celebrating and catching up with each other, and all of the nieces and nephews having a chance to get to know each other and having such fun waiting for Santa.
And most recently of all, my favorite recent tradition on Christmas Eve. Since The Tim always has to work, I'd put Dug's reindeer antlers and jingle bell collar on him, and we would take a Christmas Eve afternoon walk through Rittenhouse Square. People couldn't help but smile, and some people would want to take his picture, or have their picture taken with him. He loved the attention. And I always told him that if he made people smile, even just for a minute, he'd given them one of the best Christmas presents ever. It's gonna be really hard this year when that won't be able to happen.
But you know what? It will be OK, because a good Christmas is about love. And even if it can't be the same as it always was, or recently was, your memories make it sweeter. You still have the love for those not here, and you can't lose that, any time of year.
So December, thanks for showing up, especially this year, which has been a tough one. And I'm counting on you to make it worth going through the rest of it. I have The Tim, Jetsam, Pip, and Milo ... and this year, Jack, who has no idea what December or Christmas or Santa or even sadness is! Let's make the most of it, so that by the time 2017 pushes it's way in, we'll be able to say that you gave us a good ending, and we did the best with what we had.
Thanks for showing up. I plan to enjoy you as much as I possibly can, 'cause I look forward to seeing you every year, And regardless of what else has been happening, I'm not willing to give up on that.