Things have been kinda the same yet very different this year without my honey Roy at our family’s Christmas gathering. My Christmas blog post has always been my favorite to write each year. This year many tears flowed while writing this post, and lots of missing Roy has made this a very different kind of Christmas.
Chip, Buddy, and I really looked forward to Christmas Eve when our family gathered to eat, open presents and fellowship together, then attend Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Service together at our church in Hammond.
Our Christmas Eve was a very special afternoon and evening. I kept the menu simple: BBQ Beef on a bun, fruit salad, chips and dips, and 3 desserts.
My precious grandchildren, sons, and daughter in law could not have brought me more joy and love. My Grannie heart was so happy.
One of my Christmas gifts to my sons was a photo memory book from Shutterfly with photos of them, their children and Roy throughout the years. One of the photo memory books almost didn’t make it here before Christmas but I found out what an amazing company Shutterfly is and it made it just in time! They both loved the gift and spent some time looking at all of the photos I picked out. Creating those books brought on a couple of days full of tears and sadness which I couldn’t share with anyone because I didn’t want to ruin the surprise.
Their family also both received an amazing hand made cutting board with Chauvin embossed on it. They were made by my pastor and I absolutely love both of them.
The extremely cold weather kept us inside. Chip had a tall outside heater that we now have at my house on the patio. The only time we all went outside we were huddled around the heater. While outside our family got to see all of the ornaments on my big tree that is on the new patio.
Some of the ornaments my grandchildren previously made for me, all the ones I made this year involving some of Roy’s small things (Roy’s small calculator he used when he installed carpet back in the day, and ones my friend Cindy gave me are now on the tree. I shared a few of those ornaments in a previous post. I added some artsy, crafty bling to some of the plain ornaments, decorated some seashells, some computer CDs, and hard drive disks. I plan to make more of these CD disks and hard drive disk decorations this coming year for next year’s Christmas tree.
Two of the grandchildren gave me the ornaments they made for me. My present from Chad’s family was two beautiful glass ornaments. One in the shape of a heart with a picture of their four children on one side and the other with all of our names, Roy, Rosalyn, Chad, Chip, Amy, etc. What an absolutely perfect gift for my grieving heart.
The backside of those ornaments.
People have been saying this first Christmas would be difficult without Roy. I really didn’t grasp what that would mean or feel like. I know now that the sadness and loneliness I have felt is what that’s all about. Being without half of our original family, Roy and me, made my heart hurt. However, the joy of having all of our family around me helped on Christmas Eve. This past week a couple of days were just total loneliness that I haven’t really experienced before. I miss my partner in crime so much. This is my new sidekick who I appreciate so much. Chip and I before everyone arrived on Christmas Eve.
The very best part of our family gathering on Christmas Eve was all of us going to church together. My favorite part of that was signing with my middle granddaughter singing Christmas hymns. I sat down and she stood up so we were on the same level. She is normally very soft-spoken and a bit shy but when she sang praises to our Lord her little voice was clear and beautiful. After the service, a couple sitting two rows ahead of us commented on her beautiful singing. Chip took a photo of our family all sitting together last evening at church. I loved that he did this. Here is the photo. Look at my sweet littlest grandchild holding onto the arm of her older cousin Madisyn. So sweet.
Well, Buddy and I have gone around all day, Christmas Day, with a jingle bell necklace around our necks. And I got to eat more of the desserts we didn’t finish off yesterday.
All of our Christmas’ going forward will be different since Roy will not be with us in person. I know he is in the children and grandchildren that came from our love for each other. He will always be with us in that way.
I hope that your Christmas was a blessing to you, just as the gift of Baby Jesus was a blessing to those of us who are his children.
Merry Christmas to all of you, Rosalyn