Where Is the Joy? {Missing a Loved One at Christmastime}


This time of year, I struggle. I struggle to find joy in my most favorite time of year. A time where we celebrate (in my family) the birth of Jesus. The time of year where family gathers and cold nights lead to extra snuggles. It is in these moments, these beautiful moments, that the reality of my mom being gone hits me the hardest.

Christmastime growing up was a little bit of my mom turning into the Christmas cookie dictator and a whole lot of magic.


After she passed away, this time of year just didn’t feel the same. The magic was missing. My kids came and I tried hard to recreate the joy this time of year used to bring, but with each year, the bah humbug grew stronger and depression would take over.

I realized something this year, though. I was so busy trying to make the perfect magical Christmas that my mom gave me that I was forgetting to stop and enjoy it myself. I was rushing the seasons. Rushing the moments. Trying to keep memories of her alive by doing all the same things she did, but guess what? I’m not her!

I don’t care if my kids want to ice their Christmas tree cookie pink, she very much did. I don’t have HOURS to make all of the Christmas goodies she did or to make homemade potpourri to simmer on the stove. She stayed home when we were little and I work full time.

I also had an aha moment: I can keep her memory alive just by telling my kids stories about her and by loving them the way she taught me to.