Despite some angst getting everything done for the holidays, I miss all the preparations in celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even decorating for Halloween. Our daughters have taken over the main dinners of Thanksgiving and Christmas, with me providing whatever I am asked to include. Their dad and I now make the rounds of Thanksgiving with one, Christmas with another, and the third getting the following year of our being present to see the children’s eyes light up first thing on Christmas morning. It’s easy with two of them living next to us to always spend Christmas Day with both. We make sure to FaceTime our Charlotte daughter when we’re not with them to see what Santa has brought.
Now, though most people take down their decorations right after the holiday, being Episcopalian, I enjoy ours until the Epiphany, known as the twelfth night, or January 5th. Even then, I struggle to put everything away. I miss the tree with its beautiful ornaments and lights. The space seems so empty. My mother had a friend who kept her artificial tree up year-round. She changed the decorations to reflect Valentine’s, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving and other months that didn’t have a specific holiday. Pretty sure I will never get to that point.
I know that the New Year usually includes making resolutions. I have decided that I will not be doing that this year. Like a lot of you, my goals are to diet and exercise, get better sleep habits, use my time more wisely, and other things intended to improve myself. In no time at all, these resolutions are forgotten. This year, I will enjoy myself without them hanging over my head.
My intentions for 2024 are to spend more time with my Charlotte family – especially my grandchildren. Our oldest is now 16, her youngest brother turns 10 this month, and her other brother will be 13 in March. I don’t get to see them nearly enough. These are busy times for all of them with school, sports, and other activities. I want to be there to hear all about their days.
Being so close to the other families has given me that opportunity and joy to be more involved. I am able to attend their school functions, stay with them from time to time when their parents need help watching one or both. I have picked them up from their schools, taken them to after school activities, been present for dance recitals, stayed over several nights, and been to preschool and kindergarten graduations. I wouldn’t have missed any of them.
I like using “intentions” more than “resolutions.” My husband and I have every intention to go to Florida this month to see our grandson play in a soccer tournament. My intention is to be present at as many of our grandchildren’s events as possible.
Letting them know by being there for them, not only for the important events, but for the occasional “just because” times, whether in person or by phone, will tell them how much you mean to them. I know I look back at times with my grandparents, who lived too far away to visit more than once a year, with the best memories of our times together, our calls, and letters. I want more of those memories for my grandchildren. At least that is my intention.
May 2024 be a wonderful year filled with peace, love, and joy!