I've never been much of a Christmas person.
Correction, I've never been much of a people person. After a few hours with family I'm burnt out and in desperate need of a closet in which to hide.
I also get a little nostalgic at Christmas. A little sad reflecting over this past year, and all that happened. It's usually a bitter sweet kind of sad, though. This year was no exception.
It was my second Christmas without Mia.
Last Christmas was a blur, only a few months out after losing Mia. I was a mess, and barely had time to get ready for the holidays.
This year they seemed to sneak up on me as well. I was the frazzled woman standing in line on Christmas Eve with an armful of presents and a fierce look of determination.
The Christmas Eve service I attended last night was around the theme "Fear Not."
I thought back on this year, in the 15 months that have passed since I lost Mia. There are a million things I could fear. And yet there was a strange peace over my heart.
This morning I awoke and opened presents with my family. We ate a big turkey and the extended family came over and it was jolly and merry and everything Christmas is supposed to be.
It was bitter sweet for me. It came with a pang of nostalgia and a wave of grief.
I barely remember last Christmas, to be honest. I couldn't tell you now what I got, what I gave or who's house I went to. It was a blur. I was numb.
This Christmas felt heavier.
This Christmas I felt pain deep in my body, and felt Mia's little body so close I could close my eyes and remember so distinctly what it was like in that moment when she was born.
While I've been working hard to let go of all I can't control, to accept what was, there are moments when I feel her close and I just accept it.
"Hi darling girl. Mama misses you."
I know, mama, I'm here.
This Christmas I listened to Kate Rusby and looked at the stars as I drove home, thinking about grief and love and how funerals and memorials are more for the living than the dead.
This Christmas I felt her, in a way I rarely do anymore, and smiled.