Wednesday, December 6

David C. Clark, Minister of Children and Families 

One the gifts of being married is the wonderful blending of lives that is taking place. I was told that in marriage two lives become one, and until I actually got married I could only see that in a logistical way: two incomes becoming one budget, two schedules becoming a master calendar, two different decoration styles becoming one mishmash. This is Adam and my first Christmas together as a married couple. Unlike years in the past, we’ve gone all out on this one– presents and decorations, a full size tree, wreathes and garlands. As with many couples whose families live some distance from each other, the decision had to be made as to where we would be waking up on Christmas morning and spending the day: in Maine with my family, or down here in Massachusetts with his. This year we decided to do Thanksgiving in Maine and Christmas in Massachusetts.

It will be a different experience for me. I have never missed a Christmas at home with my family. Regardless of where I might be living or working, I have been in Maine with my family on Christmas morning for the last 32 years. And now, something new will about to be. I have become very focused on what Christmas looks like with Adam’s family, and I have been asking him endless questions: What time do people get there? What do you eat? How do you all open presents? Is everyone there all at once? How much will we dress up? It has shown me all of the things about my family’s celebration that are important to me, and I feel a small sense of loss of being away from them this year.

Knowing that this year I will be away from my family and our traditions and practices around Christmas day has lifted up what is most important to me about celebrating the holiday. I know that not everything I want and need will be present for me this year. But, Adam and I are at the very beginning of the blending of our lives and what we will create will be neither his family’s or mine, but something that includes both and is distinctly us as well.