I had another nice Christmas this year. I have been living two states away from my family, so it was wonderful to be able to spend a couple of weeks with them over the holidays. The two weeks actually flew by as days and nights were filled up with fun activities with friends. I spent Christmas Eve with my brother and his family, Christmas morning with my folks, and Christmas evening with my extended family. It was an especially nice treat to see my extended family as I hadn't seen them all year. I am thoroughly blessed to have such a close family, and it has been an odd experience living so far away.

It was a wonderful week, but there was still something missing. This is the second Christmas alone and the first since the divorce became final. Christmas was already special to J and I, but it took on a whole new meaning when we were married. In fact I proposed Christmas morning ten years ago, so it kind of became "our" day. I am now back to Christmas the way it was before I was married, and as great as it is (and it is great), it isn't the same anymore. The divorce weighs on my mind lesser each day, but there are still moments when I feel the sting. Shopping for Christmas cards was surprisingly hard this year.

This seems to fall into the "you can't go home" category. It is like I have returned to the wonderful town I grew up in, but everything looks a little different. Moments that should be warm and wonderful still feel slightly incomplete. And I don't know if that void can be filled with friends and family.

I can understand why so many people find the holidays depressing. There is so much joy and celebration surrounding us, and it some ways it only amplifies the things that are missing. It is nothing so simple as finding a replacement person to make me forget, but that incomplete feeling will probably remain until I develop memories with someone new.

Christmas was wonderful, but some of the shine was missing.


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