We haven't put up a tree yet, no boxes have come out of the garage.
Although Bill put up a single strand of colored lights on the front of the house, it's the only sign of Christmas so far, which is pretty unusual for us.
We received our first Christmas card today! It's super cute, featuring some girlies we all know and love. But getting that first card in the mail did not send me into the usual panic about getting my own photos taken and composed into a family card.
I haven't done much shopping, despite the fact that we are leaving for Chicago in just two weeks.
I'm just not feeling it this year. More precisely, I'm resisting it. It's easy to figure out why.
Christmas is about family, and although I am so thankful and pleased to be spending it with mine this year; it is so glaringly, painfully obvious that we are no longer complete.
Everyone survived Thanksgiving without Dad to carve the turkey, I suppose it's likely that we'll all survive Christmas too, and I know that we'll have big laughs and big love and a big time together; but still the overwhelming sensation that fills me when I think about facing the rituals and routines of the holiday is dread.
Where is he?
We've all felt his absence strongly this week, for reasons of our own. Maybe he's giving us a little dose of sad to work through now so that when we come together, we have more room for happy.
Once we get past this next week and a half with its zealous over scheduling and consecutive commitments, maybe I'll find the time to digest part of what this holiday will mean for me, for us. Maybe I'll be able to open those boxes and find joy in the artifacts that I have from my childhood home, and the beautiful things that my Dad made.
I hope so.