I knew the moment would come. Once the Christmas music began to play, I knew that sooner or later I would hear it.

Today I did.

Today, it hurt.

To understand why it hurt, I need to back up as far as I can remember. You see you must understand that to my Mom, the Christmas season was her “Super Bowl”. This was the time of year when she pulled out all the stops. The tree was trimmed to perfection, the house was full of the sights, sounds and smells of the season. This often included handmade ornaments to give to guests that would stop by each year. Like I said, she pulled out all the stops.

Another given at our home was the open door on Christmas Eve (after the candlelight service of course). The food would be prepared and our home was filled with people laughing and sharing. It wasn’t just family and often included a stranger or two. If you were not busy, you were invited. She wanted you to feel loved and “home” for Christmas.

As I hung the lights last weekend and pulled out the decorations for another year of celebration, I couldn’t help but think back to those many years and the special occasion. As I hung the ornaments on our little tree, I remembered that just last year I did the same thing with anticipation that my parents would be spending the season in our home. I knew in my heart that we wouldn’t have many more together, I just wish I wouldn’t have been right. My heart hurt for not only me, but for all of those that will share that feeling this season. As is my nature, I buried it and moved on…until today.

Thanks to Christmas Music, Steven Curtis Chapman delivered a difficult yet wonderful reminder that my Mom is “Home” for Christmas. This is our first Christmas without her and it will not be easy. There are moments, memories, days that just flood with emotions when we lose a loved one and this is that season. This was her time and this is when the glory of who she was became so real and so evident.

And now she’s home for Christmas and now she’s home to stay;
She’s home for Christmas, and nothin’ could’ve kept her away.
She’ll be face to face with Jesus, as we celebrate His birth,
And this gift will be worth more to her than anything on earth.
She’s home, she’s home for Christmas.
She is home, she’s home for Christmas.

I guess this post is for all of you that have lost a loved one this year. It’s also for those that have lost loved ones in previous years. The holidays are a time of family and memories and they just don’t seem the same without everyone there. When the emotions come, I will choose to remember that she is where she most wanted to be. She is in the presence of her King and has the honor of celebrating with the one we honor at this time of year. While I wish she was here, I know that she is home for Christmas.

“Going Home For Christmas” by Steven Curtis Chapman