I thought a lot about Christmas during the fall. Christmas was always our time together, Christine and I. I thought this year would probably be easier since this was our second Christmas without her but I was wrong. I think maybe last year I was still so numb and just going through the motions This year it seemed everything made me cry, especially the music. I remember when Christine was younger and would challenge anyone to name a Christmas song that she couldn't sing at least the first two verses. She loved Christmas music and would play it year round. She was allowed to play it anywhere in the house from Thanksgiving through New Years but the rest of the time she had to play it in her room and she did!
I don't know how it started but we had this little competition going on between us to see who could e-mail first on the 25th of each month to say only 11 months till Christmas and so on. One time she e-mailed me on the 24th and said only so many months till Christmas Eve. She really amused herself with that one!
We put up a small angel tree in our living room. We put all of her angel ornaments on it. My sister had given her angel ornaments for many years and now other family members are giving us ornaments for the tree. My sister found a beautiful one this summer that has a place for her picture. I used a picture of her that I found from her trip to Savanna that she and Mandy took in the spring. Last Christmas we gave all our family members and special friends a pewter angel ornament in her memory that said "Those we have held in our arms for a little while, we hold in our hearts forever." We also found a couple of angel ornaments in her things that I think friends might have given her after she got sick.
I always enjoyed shopping for her for Christmas. We would tell her and Jason that they could put anything on their Christmas list but it didn't mean that they would actually receive it. Sometimes there were some real whoppers on there! That was her sense of humor! She always loved all her presents. It was hard shopping these last two years because I would see things that I knew she would have really liked. I did a lot of my shopping online. It was easier.
We spent Christmas in Nebraska for the first time in many, many years. Jason and his family weren't able to go to Wisconsin so we all stayed here and maybe have started a new tradition. Our granddaughters are three and four. So you can imagine how much they love Christmas or should I say presents. They were ready for Christmas back in October when we had our first snowfall. Their mom said that they were jumping up and down and saying "It's Christmas! It's Christmas!" How cute is that!
When Christine was two we gave her this huge teddy bear for Christmas. It was a lot bigger than her. At first she wouldn't have anything to do with it but eventually she "grew" into it and it probably didn't seem so frightening to her. I think she still had that bear when she was in high school.
So another Christmas has come and gone. We survived.