A bittersweet Christmas

When its Christmas on your own ~ Crystal Gornto | Heartstories

It’s hard to believe I’m forty years old and this was my first Christmas morning with only my immediate family.  We’ve always shared Christmas morning with grandparents, siblings and cousins.  But this year, we wanted to be home, by our tree with the boys.  And that meant it would just be us.

Our first solo family Christmas.

It was really special to watch the boys run down the stairs to find their Santa gifts and stockings.  Then I popped Pillsbury cinnamon rolls into the oven (because we are healthy like that).  We had a quick bite before continuing with the gift opening celebration.  We shared some special moments around the tree before deciding it was time to eat our “Christmas lunch”.  But my role in both extended families has never centered around meal-planning.

It completely skipped my mind to plan or prepare any sort of meal for my family!  Oops.

Thankfully my sister Kim mentioned it on Christmas eve at my parent’s house, so I snagged a bag of smoked chicken to bring home.  I heated that up with some sliced cucumbers, steamed veggies, and rolls. . . and voila!  We had Christmas lunch.  But it was more than just lunch.  The whole day felt just a little bit different.

I guess we’re never quite finished growing up.  

As we grow older, we continue to learn by seeing and experiencing life from new vantage points. There are some things we can only truly learn by experiencing them ourselves. The roles we play shift, and it broadens our worldview.

There’s a bittersweetness to that, as we let go of what was, to embrace what now is.  

I imagine you experienced some shifting this Christmas too.  Maybe your Christmas didn’t feel quite as Pinterest-worthy as you might have imagined.  Maybe you need to be reminded that it’s normal. If you’re having mixed emotions about it, that’s normal too.  You’re not doing it wrong.

You’re still growing.  

I’m right here with you.

to more love,



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