A new year always encourages me to take stock. One thing I've let slip is my Writer's World Wednesday weekly post. Since I missed it yesterday, I was tempted to skip it again. But I need to get back in the habit, so I'm working off the "better late than never" premise.
Let me tell you about my Christmas...
For several years, my husband and I have been adjusting to the empty nest. One of the hardest things for me has been the holidays because it's traditionally celebrated with family. Combine the empty nest with a career change into the army where we are now thousands of miles away from any family, and I'd gotten pretty good at pouting my way through Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This year, two things happened that changed my attitude. The first was an invitation to celebrate Thanksgiving in someone's home. We've been going to the D-fac ("dining facility" for those of you who don't speak Army Acronym) which just doesn't have the same atmosphere. This was the first year we were invited out. Even though these people were strangers to me, the chance to be in a home around a table was sweet. It opened my eyes to what that simple gesture can mean. The second thing was a movie. My husband and I love watching Christmas movies, the sappier the better. "Midnight Clear" is not a sappy movie. Not by a long shot. But it gave me a new insight into spreading Christmas cheer.
In combination, these two things flipped my attitude from, "Poor me, I don't get to celebrate with my family," to "How can I make Christmas special for some people around me?"
Nathan and I invited four, single soldiers to enjoy Christmas dinner with us. I made a ham, green beans with bacon bits, scalloped potatoes, brioche rolls, hot apple cider, spiced pecans, and an apple pie. We cracked a chocolate orange, decorated cut-out cookies, and went carolling at the hospital. And through it all, I had the most blessed peace.
We will be flying to Seattle next week to have our Whitham family Christmas in accordance with our new family tradition: celebrate when prices on flights are back down to reasonable.
See you next week.