by Lindsey Funtik, Coordinator of Volunteer Ministries, Ashland First United Methodist Church, Ashland, Ohio.
The loud, the cheerful, the expansive has shrunk.
Now it is gentle and quiet and maybe a little bit hollow.
Now it is a quick shopping list and an early Christmas tree and just a few extra hugs from the only safe arms.
Now it is resignation to make the most of it.