"Christmas Eve I saw a stable, low and very bare, A little child in a manger. The oxen knew Him, had Him in their care, To men He was a stranger, The safety of the world was lying there, And the world's danger. " ~Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
"Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream: a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love. " ~Lucinda Franks
"Christmas is a holiday that persecutes the lonely, the frayed, and the rejected. "
~ Jimmy Cannon
"Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart." ~ Washington Irving
I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas....
I used to love the holidays and from Thanksgiving till Christmas Eve I was busy buying little things and wrapping gifts for everyone.. I took the kids shopping so that each of them could buy gifts for their other family..allowing them to choose something for their real parent and for their step parent and any children or Grandparents that might also be a part of their other family... after that I had to take them to buy each other gifts... as well as gifts for Dave.. he would wait till the very last possible minute and have the children to show me things so that they could try and figure out what to buy me.. I never considered myself hard to buy for.. a notebook or a pen.. a book or even a book marker.. a live plant or a package of seeds.. and of course there was always the doll or tea set....
The last few years I simply haven't had the same Christmas spirit.. I wonder if it's because I am older or if it's because all the kids are grown? Honestly I don't know... Dave and I have discussed and re-discussed what we want to cook.. he said Turkey and I said ham.. I have one of each defrosting in the bottom of the fridge... I told Mama tonight maybe I should cook and slice both and put them on the table with all the fixings for sandwiches... make it easy on Dave and on me... some paper plates and a cooler of ice for the soft drinks and we can lay around and watch TV and wait to see who shows up... Let each one open their gifts as they come and have a snack with us.. before they have to move on to the next house... easy on the kids too since they won't have to try and eat a half dozen meals while traveling about..
The simple truth is that we don't know who will be here and at what time.. now that all the kids are grown and gone it is just as hard as it always was for us to plan anything.. we always hated the fact that as soon as they opened gifts here.. all of the children had to be carted off to the other parent's house for the rest of the day.. then at night they would come home to us tired and cranky and pouting because they had to leave something at the other parents' house... Christmas hasn't changed for Dave and I... we still feel as if we have to take whatever time is left when the other family is through... Christmas has been hard for us for a long time... Dave said he thought that when the kids grew up it would be easier... I knew it wouldn't.. though my own family was always together .. I learned from Gaylon's family what it was like to have two sets of family... and as hard as it is for us as adults... I know it is so much harder for the children..
I have all my gifts bought and wrapped.. I have mailed a small gift to both of the grown sons who live on the other side of the world.. the gift pile is slimmer this year.. the economy decided that for us as well as for almost all families I know.. Dave said that he had racked his brain trying to think what to buy... he said with no kids to take shopping he was having a hard time deciding what I might like.. it was as if he needed a kid to take along to help him pick out something.. plus he knows that I like anything at all the kids buy.... He did great with my computer... he managed to buy it and get it in the house without me seeing it and most likely could have left it sitting where he had it and I wouldn't have even noticed it but he couldn't wait... I have been enjoying it for a whole week now.. he never looks under the tree.. he has a few things under there.. Dave loves anything at all that someone gives him.. but he says he would rather have nothing and have all the kids to sit down for a meal together just once on Christmas day.... without having to hurry to get to another place... I am satisfied that that will never happen but I do agree that it's a very wonderful wish!
Dave and I will spend our Christmas day like we have so many before.. we will cook together and wait for which ever children come.. we will worry about those who live far away and we will worry about those who might be traveling not so far to see us.. we will enjoy the limited time with our kids and wish then well as they move on to spend the rest of the day with their other families..
I hope that each and every one of my readers has a wonderful Merry Christmas!!