I see you in your favorite seat with sleep in your eye and surprise on your face as children open their presents. The aroma of pies and dressing from your special recipe fill the air with flavor and my mind with memories. The stocking we hang with your scripted name holds no presents this year. I can still see you coming through the front door with frost on your breath, arms full of presents, and kisses all around. Though I haven’t seen you in so many years, you will always be here at Christmas because you will always be here in my heart.
Christmas was always special with you. Whether presents spilled out under the tree or gifts were few, there were laughs and love in abundance and blessings surrounding us all. I still hang the paper Santa you made in school when your hands were so small and writing was new. I hang the old ornament that grandpa bought grandma on their first Christmas tree. That picture of you sitting on Santa’s lap, with a surprised look and leaning away from him always makes me smile. Loved ones grow up, move on, and pass on, but you will always be here at Christmas because you will always be here in my heart.
On Christmas night in the peace and quiet with only the lights of the tree, I sip my hot chocolate and think of Christmas past and the joy of what used to be. Wrapped in the melancholy of warm memories, I am not sad but longing for a Christmas that used to be. But I enjoy this day and the ones I am with and celebrate another year. The friendly ghosts of Christmas past surround me and fill my heart with cheer. I haven’t held your hand in years but you will always be here at Christmas because you will always be here in my heart.
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