Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Watching QVC's Christmas in July

QVC ran its annual Christmas in July promotion last week. I've never bought anything from QVC (or any TV shopping channel), and I've rarely watched QVC, but I watched it, fascinated by my odd, detached feelings. It was surreal and a bit melancholy to eye shiny, strange ornaments, realistic fake trees and fiber-optic madonnas with blue & green flashing backlights. But not because it's July or the holidayana was tacky.....(which it was).

Christmas, as a family holiday, marks change when your children are no longer young, and it feels like a loss. Our near-30 daughter and her husband recently moved to another state. They long to enjoy their first home at Christmas. She broke the news last week. Of course. We understand.

But it's sad for us. No gathering round the dinner table, savoring the feast as a family. No eagerly opening gifts with them, paper and ribbons flying. No Christmas afternoon movie while a fragrant turkey simmers in the oven. We treasured every corny minute.

And my son and his wife are devoted parents now to a delightful newborn daughter. Yes, we'll be deeply blessed to share her first Christmas, but we'll be fortunate to enjoy her for a few hours. She'll be leaving to join other grandparents, too. Of course. We understand.

Our college student son will share Christmas Day with us. He just wants money though. Frankly, there's nothing he needs or wants. He works hard, goes to school, saves, does well for himself. We admire him, love him, care for him. But he's self-sufficient. Of course. We understand.

And our youngest is 14. No longer a little girl excited to lay out cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer. No longer our sweet young child eagerly anticipating the dawn of Christmas morning. Her gift list will include an iPod, Old Navy clothes, a cool cellphone and a cooler printer......not dolls and legos, not pretend kitchens with adorable little pans and ovens, not story books to share with us. Of course. We understand.

We've been successful parents. Roots and wings. They're educated, self-supporting, faithful, optimistic and happy, clean and sober, are good citizens and know God ( in varying degrees). And we miss them. And we miss being needed by them.

QVC's holiday merchandise was fiber-optic and modern, campy to my eye. But if QVC sells it, it must be popular. It must be the new style of Christmas....instead of pretty decor with a homespun, country air. Like our decades-old, carefully-stored decorations.

Apparently, Christmas styles have passed us by. And our children have grown and gone on with their lives. They have their own Christmas traditions, or soon will.

Watching QVC's Christmas in July, I felt like I didn't even recognize what had always been our favorite family holiday. I felt like a stranger in a strange land.

And it feels like a loss.
But we understand. It's God's plan.


purple_kangaroo said...

((Hugs)). I'm not looking forward to those days with my kids. I'm glad they're still preschoolers and will be small for quite a while.

Brandy said...

Yes things change and yes it is God's plan. My life long love past away in Iraq and I find myself coming home to an empty house after work most often. My 18 year old workes and does well for him self and when Holidays come he's goes to his 2 boses (ladies)homes and gives them there gifts , flowers etc..(just as he does me )and let's not for get the girl friend, he makes time for her . I find that my 14 year old is also very social and is active in sports and spending the night with friends. The hoildays have really changed friends and family live 1600 miles away or more. And they are afraid to fly or drive long distances. I have to have faith that there is a plan that God has for us all..even though the hoilday s have changed Life does not always go as we thought and our children grow up ..we must cherish all the bits and pieces we can ,,hug you husband always and tell him you love him everyday and more..you still have each other.