It just occurred to me that this is the first Christmas I’ve ever spent alone. Now before anyone runs amok with that statement, I set this weekend up to be by myself. The actuality of being alone for Christmas hadn’t occurred to me before today. I’m not terribly upset by it or anything, it’s just the first time in my life this event has happened.
It is also the first Christmas I have spent without Michele since 1997. Christmas 1996 she was still living in Colorado; it would be another six weeks or so before she moved to Illinois. Michele very much wanted to come to Illinois for Christmas but I was reluctant to expose her to my family around that holiday given the darkness that comes with the anniversary of Amy’s death.
All told Michele and I shared eight Christmases. The first in Illinois with my family, then one in Vancouver, one in South Carolina, four more in Illinois, and the last one here in Kansas a year ago. Twice we took trips for the holiday, traveling to Tampa in 2001 and Hawaii in 2002. We really hit our stride in terms of decorating the house, and celebrating our way in the last couple of years in Illinois. We decided to make the central theme Santa Claus and we collected many different Clauses including a two-foot tall Scottish one. Each year after Christmas we’d go to the upscale interior decorations store and buy hand-blown glass ornaments at steep discounts. Consequently I now have a collection of beautiful ornaments; maybe I’ll get them out next year.
Later today I’ll get out A Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life and curl up on the couch with the cats and try to touch the magic and wonder of Christmas that Michele showed me.