Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Christmas Then and Now

“I’m looking for you 
I’m looking for — I don’t know what 
I can’t see there anymore 
And all my time’s been taken 
Is this what it seems? 
The lure of a dream 
And I’m afraid to walk back through that door 
To find that I’ve awakened…”

Dear Darling,

How was your Christmas? Did you spend it with your family? Were you apart from them for the first time? Was it as magical for you as when you were young? What did you receive, and what did you get?

Christmas quietly slipped back out into the night, as it does every 26th of December at midnight. It went as gently and silently as it came, leaving only memories behind. It was less joyful and wonderful this year than any other, I’m afraid. Perhaps I am simply too accustomed to all the warm traditions and memories that abide with my family throughout the season.

I’m getting too old. It seems like when I was younger, Christmas lasted an eternity. I was giddy, practically dancing with anticipation for the twenty-fifth, and after breezing through class work, I’d sit around reading books or playing games or watching shows. Bing Crosby and the Carpenters formed the soundtrack to the season, and were ingraining themselves into the neural pathways of my memory. It was okay to be selfish and only the good memories counted.

Now I’m so busy with work or school, and school doesn’t let out until a little more than a week prior to Christmas that I haven’t time to prepare either my heart or my mind or my arrangements sufficiently to allow for the season.

Back then it seemed like snow could be expected a few times before Christmas, if not actually on the day itself. Throughout winter, we would receive at least one major snowfall worthy of snowballs and sledding. The past few years we had nothing more than a few flurries (if that) prior to Christmas, and this year it rained.

Back then, we had family come to visit. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, my great-grandmother, friends. Now no one comes, not even my oldest brother who has removed himself from our lives. It’s just me and my family year after year. The traditions are familiar and comforting, but I begin to crave after something new.

Shopping back then was the thrill of being cut loose in the store for the first time with two twenty dollar bills in your hand and the freedom to make your own purchases. Now, shopping is finding the time to sit down at the computer and order the gift ideas you’ve contrived. (If I do say so myself, my gift ideas have certainly improved.)

Bedtime was being tucked in with a hug goodnight almost every night, and never later than eleven, let alone midnight. Now, it’s being irresponsibly tardy in retiring for the evening, and being too lonely to care.

Then, I was loved by my family and never had a reason to doubt it. They were all I needed, and I seldom thought about needing anything else. Now I’m too aware that I need someone more, someone who isn’t in my life yet. There’s this absence that reverberates throughout my day, and creeps up for a haunting embrace at night.

I’m too grown-up. I couldn’t make it to Neverland if I tried. I don’t get excited like I used to. Life gets complicated, and all these worries settle in. You have to take the reins of your life and worry about routes and steering and directions, even as you cede its control to its Creator.

I think it’s time for me to move on. I need to find a new place. I’m getting a little stale. I need to spread the wings a little bit, do my own thing for a while, push the limits and comfort zone a little. How can I expect to be prepared to provide for you if I don’t know how to provide for myself? Financially I’ll be just fine. I could use a little training in cooking and tending bills and my own place. I’m trying to be sure I’m abiding in God’s will on the matter. It is a leap while enrolled full-time in school.

After I showered tonight, I sat by the woodstove, bare-chested and alone, the darkness illuminated only by firelight. The wind and rain battering the house, and the snapping of burning logs are the only sounds that penetrate the silence. I’m staying up far too late, texting or chatting with friends just because I don’t want to be lonely. Being alone and being lonely are two very different things.

Christmas loneliness and hormones seem to be striking particularly hard this year. I understand how the long years can culminate into moments where, if someone of equal loneliness is in close proximity, weakness abounds. And every so often, that thought creeps back in that I should join the rest of the world in that regard, buy a little temporary pleasure and regret, and stop pretending I’m better than them.

I love you, Darling. I can’t wait to lean in and whisper those words in your ear as I kiss your neck.

Those are the sorts of future memories that keep my heart from freezing on nights like tonight.

Merry Christmas, Darling.


December 26, 2012 Posted by | Loneliness | Leave a comment

This Time Every Year

christmas kiss

 “Greeting cards have all been sent
The Christmas rush is through
But I still have one wish to make
A special one for you 

Merry Christmas, darling
We’re apart that’s true 

But I can dream and in my dreams 
I’m Christmasing with you 

Holidays are joyful 
There’s always something new 
But every day’s a holiday 
When I’m near to you 
The lights on my tree 
I wish you could see 
I wish it every day 
Logs on the fire 
Fill me with desire 
To see you and to say 

That I wish you Merry Christmas 
Happy New Year, too 
I’ve just one wish 
On this Christmas Eve 
I wish I were with you 

The logs on the fire 
Fill me with desire 
To see you and to say 
That I wish you Merry Christmas 
Happy New Year, too 
I’ve just one wish 
On this Christmas Eve 
I wish I were with you 
I wish I were with you.”

Merry Christmas darling. I will meet you in spirit underneath the mistletoe for our annual Christmas kiss, and hope as I do every year that we find each other soon.

Love ever,

December 26, 2012 Posted by | Holidays, Loneliness | Leave a comment