Christmas will be different this year


By Helen Guilford



Christmas looms on our doorstep. To many, that means “hurry and finish your shopping” and to others it may be a reminder to contact all those we hope to include in our family dinner celebration. It may mean searching the internet and big box stores for that one specific item your child or grandchild “just can’t live without”.

I’ve been through all those stages but this year will still be different.

The lady that became my roommate some 50 years ago is now in a residential setting that can deal with her encroaching dementia. We had lived together about 40 years before I determined I needed to live alone. Even during those four years of living separately, we still did most things outside the home together.

Celebrating Christmas was in that list of “together” stuff. While she decorated her apartment, my decorations were minimal. I won’t say they were missing but decorating was just not my strong point. We opened gifts before breakfast and always had a good Christmas dinner.

Then, when I decided to become a home owner once again, there was no question in her mind. She was also moving. So our Christmas (and other) preparations were done together once again.

This year, I had Thanksgiving dinner with her at her place of residence. I think it meant far more to me than it did to her. Now, the question looms — how to celebrate Christmas – a tree in her room? Other decorations? Gifts? These are decisions I’m sure many of you, my readers, have faced when dealing with aging parents and/or other family. Some have come along side to help me with all this newness.

My former roommate and I are not related, but I am the closest thing to family she has. Now, I find myself in the position of Power of Attorney where I must make decisions relating to her life. I asked if she wanted a tree in her room. She said “Yes” to that. Lighted? Another yes.

I have purchased gifts for her. Will she even understand who I am when she opens them?

Yes, Christmas will be different. BUT, the One whose birthday we celebrate that day is Jesus, the Son of God, “the SAME yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Whatever stage of life you are in whether childhood, advanced in years or somewhere in between those extremes, you and I still need to spend some time getting reacquainted with Jesus, the Babe in the Manger, Jesus dying on the cross, Jesus – risen from the dead and coming again! Then we won’t notice the differences in Christmas celebrations but will focus on the One we honor this day.

By Helen Guilford