This was my first Christmas without my mom — always a difficult milestone. We have our Christmas traditions with my parents (in addition to our own family traditions with The Husband and The Girls, of course), but I was curious how much would change this year, as my mom was typically the one to lead such traditions.
My dad decided not to put up a tree this year, and I can’t blame him, really. That does seem like a lot of work when you’re the only one who will see it. He did, however, use his sense of humor and taped a gift bag that had a picture of a Christmas tree on it — and called that his Christmas tree. 🙂 On the bricks below, he set out the “stockings,” which really ended up being plastic grocery bags for everyone.
Actually, it was the stockings that I was most curious about. My mom loved shopping to fill the stockings, and she always found the neatest things, so I was going to be a little sad if my dad didn’t continue that tradition, but I also understood if he just wasn’t up to taking over the task. I considered asking him if he was going to do it, but then I didn’t want him to feel pressured to do it if he hadn’t planned on it. I considered asking if he wanted suggestions on stocking stuffers for all of us, but I didn’t want him to feel offended and think I didn’t think he could do it on his own. So I mentioned in passing that I’d be buying stuff to fill his stocking, and I prepared myself beforehand for either outcome.
I was very pleased when I walked in the house and saw the grocery bag “stockings” sitting in front of the fireplace. While certainly not the same without my mom, it was so nice to sit together and open these little goodies with each other. For me, it helped me feel like a part of her remains with us.
Without further adieu, my dad’s Christmas tree and stockings: