The happy times you have grown up to believe about Christmas can bring a lot of stress with it - making the season not so merry & bright.
Case in point. My daughter Brandi and her little family (Hi Johnny & Ella!) live very far from me in miles.
Not in my heart.
For the past couple of years, we have been blessed to have them come to Utah for a Christmas visit.
Last year ended on a scary note when we all got so sick, but we were all strong and we managed to have a wonderful time anyway.
Ella saw Santa again at the Mall and although she has aged a year - Santa really didn't look any different. See....
(must be all the North Pole cold air..) And, she even LIKED him this past year!
So this year, we were looking forward again to "the visit".
However, life happens.
Bills need to be paid.
Airline tickets, much like gas prices, home montages and everyday expenses have skyrocketed.
For the 3 of them to come all the way out is far too cost prohibitive.
And it would be ridiculous to pay those inflated prices.
I don't want the visit to be paid for "at any price".
And that makes me sad.
But what makes me proud is that they, as a young couple, are learning NOT to rely on credit cards.
They will pay for what they can afford at the moment without credit cards eating away their money, their lives.
And at this moment in time, a visit, while it could happen, would induce so much stress and frustration that it may not be as enjoyable as one might have thought.
And nether Randy or I want that for them.
Brandi is afraid of hurting me so she wrote to her Dad to tell him the news. I know she reads my blog, so I am writing here for all to see.
Brandi, it's OK.
Johnny, we are so proud of you and where you are in your career. And what you have done for my daughter and YOUR daughter!
Ella, Grammie loves you and will start sending your video clips of us as soon as Papa and I figure out exactly that works. So you will see me and hear me.
And you'll know that I love you. And that Papa loves you too. I may even get Braxton & Lulu to bark "hello" to you!
Christmas is a magical time. It's in your heart as much as it is in the "real world". We can be together in thoughts, calls and videos and dreams.
I know it's not the same and I know you are sad, but we'll see you all and when the time is right, it will be PERFECT!
So, don't be sad - be proud that you are strong enough to make this difficult decision.
I love you all three..
PS - rumor has it Santa WILL come to New Jersey after all........