Every year I attempt to take a picture of my Christmas tree. A picture that actually appears to be as lovely as the tree as I see it. Every year I fail. This year's attempt:
Contemplating Christmas trees, I remember the big ordeal it seemed to be when at home with Mom and Dad. Everyone would haul the boxes up from the cold room. Dad usually was in charge of lights. Someone would sit down at the piano and play Christmas music (until told to start pulling their weight and hang some ornaments!) or we'd put in the traditional Christmas music CD. Our sing-a-long would be interrupted by exclamations of "Oh remember when I made...." "Haha, Look at this one do you remember...?" and many other happy remembrances from Christmases past.
The last few years I've helped Mom & Dad put their tree up before heading home during the Thanksgiving break. Heading out early, I missed the fun this year. As I hauled my own tree and decorations up from the crawlspace, I thought about feeling sorry for myself. When you live on your own and partake of many of the Holiday activities independently feeling sorry for yourself is the easy thing to do.
I mentally whined while struggling to lift the tree into my kitchen on my own, I considered silently boohooing that there was no one there to sing and reminisce with, I harrumphed when I had to walk around the tree to string the lights rather than being able conveniently hand the string over to a person on the other side of the tree.
But now I stop and remember that being alone is always a choice. As Mom has reminded me, I could be married to that short fat man from Zimbabwe that was so interested in me at BYU. I recall the many choices that I have made that have led me to where I am today, and I'm not sorry. Certainly I hope for more meaningful and lasting relationships outside of those that I have with my family and friends. Really, though, I have led a blessed life. I have sincere friends, and a supportive family (even though they're a little farther away than I would like at times), and I am learning to enjoy the friendship of those with whom I spend time at work and church. I have a comfortable, safe, and beautiful home. I have work that I enjoy, and a good job that provides well for me. I'm learning so much about who I am, and I'm understanding more every day what things really matter in life, and what things just need to be let go.
My life is good! So as I sit here by my cozy tree and remember the good times of Christmases past, I vow to try a little harder to make more memories in this present. I'll find joy with those who surround me, and enjoy all the blessings that this season brings.