You snuck up on me, just like every year. One moment it's Thanksgiving, with too much delicious food and not quite enough time with family, but as soon as I finish washing the Thanksgiving china and vacuuming the crumbs from under the table, I turn around and you are knocking at the door. Your stress-filled days of Christmas shopping, crowds, cleaning, decorating, attending work parties when I'd rather stay home and knit just wear me out. You've given me too many instances in which I desperately miss my far-away sons, and then have to pretend that I'm not sad so I don't spend our video chat time with tears in my eyes, making all of us sadder. Thoughts of what lies ahead when you whisper that this is most likely the last Christmas for several ill family members are almost too much to bear.
But ... you've also got some warm moments in your cold days. An empathetic, understanding, and pragmatic oncologist that I love and just want to hug (and I might even do that tomorrow). Cookie Day with all the women in my family is a real highlight. Enjoying the fact that Ryan is becoming a creative cook, who is able to use his chemistry and math backgrounds to come up with a delicious new quiche that I am taking to John's boss' party. Appreciating that Justin is an incredibly responsible and forward-looking young man, working long and hard towards a permanent position so he doesn't have to be an intern forever.
December, your gift of Christmas is what usually comes to my mind first when I think of you, but this year you are presenting me with something I will appreciate even more - your solstice. That day with the fewest hours of daylight reminds me that yes, there is plenty of darkness, but minute by minute, more light is returning with every new day.
So hello December, with your good and bad, light and dark, happiness and sadness, but always love.
Yours in warmth,
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