I love getting gifts for people, especially at Christmas. I love trying to find just the right gift, something I know each person will love. I love the shopping for them, wrapping them, and putting them under the tree. I love watching them open it. It’s all just a wonderful part of the holiday season for me.
This year things are off. Oh I’ve had fun shopping for gifts and wrapping them. I think I’ve found some gifts that are ones people will like. A few are even ones that I know will be huge hits. But it is all just off.
As I check in with myself each day I notice the following thoughts running through my mind several times a day:
*What if I got all the wrong gifts?
*I can’t possibly have gotten enough yet.
*Maybe I should start over.
*What was it they really wanted?
*What if it’s all a bust?
Even this morning as I prepare for our Christmas Eve celebrating I find I am having an internal battle with myself. Should I go out one more time for a few more gifts for the kids? Or, is it all okay and I can just relax for a few hours? I hear these same things from my kids as they wonder out loud if they’ve done okay with their gift buying.
As this rattles through me I realize it isn’t about the physical gifts. It is about the fact that the one gift I wish I could give to us all was having Russell back. I can’t make the pain and confusion of this time go away. I can’t magically make it all right again no matter how much I wish I could. And since that isn’t something I can do no gift, no matter how awesome it might be, is going to feel like enough.
I know for a fact that all of us have put a lot of effort and love into our gift purchasing for one another. But all of us recognize deep inside ourselves that we are trying to fill a gap that can’t be filled. We are making great efforts to spoil one another, bring as much joy to the time as we can, and focus on each other.
I will embrace the joy of these next few days and allow myself to be however I need to be. I will encourage my children to do the same. Together we will enjoy as much as we can. And together we will miss Russell and wish he could be with us. In this time, in this moment I am most grateful for the gift of my children who have always been my greatest gifts.