I started out this Christmas a little down. Because of scheduling and when things had to be put in the oven and when the kids were going to show up, the wife and I didn't end up going to the same mass.
At church, our priest mentioned loved ones that are no longer with us. This reminded me of the people that I have lost over the years, and how it has changed the celebration of Christmas in our family.
My grandmother and sister had the most profound effect, but before either of them passed on, my uncle and grandfather had died. My sister moved to Indiana and my parents and brother moved to Florida.
Our old traditions, what I had been used to for years, were largely gone, and this left me very sad this morning.
When I finally came home, the kids were already there. We only have the two youngest at home, and the two oldest boys came home, along with our oldest's fiance.
After we had lunch and opened presents, I was feeling a bit ashamed of how sad I was in the morning. I will always miss those that have passed on, and my family that have moved away. But I have blessed to have children that love me, and friends that love me as well, and a wife that puts up with all of that.
I hope that everyone that is missing something, whose loss is felt more acutely during the holidays, can still find joy in this day. I hope that people that are alone today can find some solace as well. If I have interacted with you, either online or in person, I hope there is something, anything, I can do to help make the march of days more enjoyable for you.