My mom died in 2000, and it was an unexpected thing to hear her say she needed more hugs in this life. She called it her one regret…to have not given or received more hugs. I did what I could to double up on mine since she was feeling a deficit. It is quite a gift, a hug. I miss them too, for my mom, my friends, my kids…. I especially miss those daily hugs with my children. All I want for Christmas is to be able to hug them, at least sometime this month. That would be a wonderful gift. You know, I lived with my kids daily for twenty plus years and got a lot of hugs in…but that is the one thing that you can’t get over the phone or in an IM or email. When one calls with a problem, that’s what they want most, a momma hug.
I have not been able to give storebought or handmade gifts for a number of years, something which pains me as a mother, to suddenly not have a birthday gift or a Christmas gift for my children is very difficult, but they are very gracious, loving children and understand why that is so. There are times when the pastor at the church I attend mentions gift-giving and shopping and the usual hustle-bustle of Christmas, and I think I must be really poor, because I don’t do Christmas shopping or parties or traveling anymore. It’s not like I wouldn’t like to, I just have resigned myself to poverty, I suppose. It’s funny when I think about my kids growing up, all the family (nieces, nephews, etc) came to my house for dinner. Now, none of them get together, and it has only been a few years since I left there.
I miss the fresh pine greens that used to scent the house. Nowadays I have a Last Supper depiction above the mantle, and there is a God-incidence story behind that to tell at another time. I have an angel at the door, a snowflake in my window, and my usual Christmas décor is a treasured manger. Nothing really makes it Christmas except for those hugs. It IS all about that, that thing I call a gift, like Christ, the one fine gift sent so long ago. My “understanding” about God is that God hugs through us, through our embrace with others. So if you haven’t done much of it lately, find a way to give more hugs and of course in so doing, you will probably get more, too. There are lots of people sitting in nursing homes or the Salvation Army on Christmas and every other day of the year that could use one. It is a gift that lasts a long time. It’s one of the ways that Christmas is really known.