Christmas is lurking just beyond my emotional horizon. It’s an ambiguous day for me. Sometimes I’m in a festive spirit and look forward to the eggnog, but other years crass commercialization overwhelms my sensibilities, and I’m not so merry.
Christmas is ideally a festive, family-oriented season. However, this year the holiday brings with it mixed emotions. Last December I was enthusiastic. The upper balcony and windows were lined with sparkling lights. A fir wreath decorated the front door. The Christmas trees were covered in tinsel.
Two trees last year was a first, and now my spouse is angling for three. I’m not fond of clichés, but really, too much of a good thing is too much, or so my Grinch side asserts. I’ve also been informed that my two adult daughters are coming home for the holidays. And while I love my children unreservedly, there are times when they don’t lavish that emotion upon each other.
My younger daughter travels with a theatrical group. She’s creative, driven, and harbours grand dreams. She’s an energetic, fun-loving individual who is ready to embrace all that society has to offer.
My older daughter possesses numerous creative traits too, but they’re gifts that She’s struggling to define. She lives in a foreign land and from her perspective, Western civilization is woefully uncivilized.
I know that my children love their family, each other, and life, but get them together and an explosion is imminent.
The chasm between them is wide. I want to be a bridge builder and facilitate the healing of their damaged relationship. I worry that I’m inadequate for the task. However, what I can do is continue to hope in the future. The future may be unknown and uncertain and yet to be experienced in the present, but nonetheless It’s a tangible reality.
I’m realizing that Christmas this year isn’t only about my dilemma as a parent, It’s also about the preservation of hope. Regardless of any religious affiliation or belief, hope remains. In a global community That’s being despoiled by war, famine, and pestilence, hope is the eternal gift.
My girls? fractured relationship is a metaphor for the state of our world and its inhabitants. Peace and reconciliation among peoples, families, and nations is the gift I request this year. Not just for me, but for every human being.
Perhaps three trees truly isn’t too much of a good thing.