There are certain specific holidays which to me are Family Holidays. We are not religious, so most holidays for us have been centered around family. We have always lived too far from family to spend time with anyone other than the four of us, which simplified our holiday lives. Christmas and New Year and Easter were times for spending time together, cooking warm and festive meals, laughter and love, peace and harmony.
I was one of those people who shopped all year round…any sale I found on whimsical, fun items for sending to sisters, parents, nieces and nephews were snapped up and stored in my Christmas closest. I stockpiled Christmas! Then we sold our big house, gave away a lot, dumpstered a lot and packed up even more for our move into a tiny, two room house on the Coast of Maine. And there went my Christmas closet.
Here, I have no space nor need for a Christmas closet. My kids are grown and live far away, so there is no need to hide things anymore. Plus, we now make a donation to Heifer International in the names and for the love of our extended family (this year, we donated geese, chickens, honeybees and trees), so there is no need for stockpiling.
As much as I love packing up the Christmas boxes and mailing them to my kids, I miss the days of early morning feet down the stairs, our girl and boy giggling and poking and dancing around the pile of presents under the decorated Norfolk Island Pine that served as our Christmas tree. Empty nest holidays just aren’t the same.