Every year is better

It ’twas the best Christmas
ever.
Peace
permeated our days of preparation.
I didn’t fret about buying gifts. I bought a few along the way (throughout the summer and fall… all before Thanksgiving) and then went out one day – only one – on the week of Christmas for a few gifts that had me stumped. With money tighter than ever, there were gifts but we weren’t swimming in a sea of them … there were a few for each of us. And you know what? It was grand.

Our worship at Warren Baptist Church this holiday month
focused on words from His Word
with the underlying theme “Fear Not.”
So appropriate in these uncertain times of the world.

I have to admit that I wasn’t ready when my folks arrived. I never am. It’s a frustrating thing – but … I guess it’s good, as well. I wasn’t in a tizzy … I just did what I could and let things slide this year. That is a step in a very positive direction, since past years have been tense in the last day or two.  I never quite get everything done that I would like. I don’t know if this is poor planning on my part … or my need to do what I do so fully well that I am left with most things unfinished due to lack of time. I’m getting better though …. which is almost a sad statement to make at almost fifty years old. At least I had meals planned and presents purchased and wrapped. My bedroom wasn’t ready for guests (the party room now houses Glory, so I gave my folks my bedroom). It took me a few extra minutes before they could “move in,” but, ya know?  We made it. And it was good.

I always …. wonder about my parents when they visit.
They are only children. And there were only two of us when I was little – my brother and I.
My family? I have two comedians (the upper and lower of the offspring)
and a middle child who becomes stressed when
the birds get loud,
iTunes serenades,
a ukulele is being plucked
a man/child picking
and dinner is ready.
At least ONE meal involves someone who is either disgruntled
or doesn’t show up at all.
And there are my folks … people who live in peace and quiet
a world away.
I’m glad they come … but worry that it’s just a smidge.crazy for them
when they are visiting Augusta.

Even the dog tries to escape. The combination of company, loud laughter and the camera flashing (simulating lightning, in her canine view) overwhelms her and she paces looking for a place to hide.

But, these days are grand … even after divorce.  I’d rather the house be filled with people and a pacing dog where we celebrate life, love and family. These are good times. They warm my heart.

Our gifts were perfectly chosen with everyone receiving something incredibly fitting for their personality. It made me so happy to watch paper split and smiles form. My Mom got a Kindle with a cover, my dad money for a deeply desired new drill, the man/child a remote control car and the youngest a ukulele. It was quite pleasing to see happy, loved faces.

Yet, this was in fact, the best Christmas ever. With blessings abounding, family around, a roof over our heads, warmth, food and fellowship
the gifts of my Lord … so many … so rich. I count my blessings.

412. pinecones, large and small, in baskets and bowls
413. fresh batteries
414. children, happy, healthy and strong
415. parents who celebrated 52 years of wedded bliss on Dec 20th
416. creamed spinach, roasted potatoes and charcoal grilled steak
417. a multi-textured nativity that sings warm of a Savior’s birth years ago
418. a plush unicorn, plush bathrobe and plush jacket
that make a tactile girl grin and giggle
419. four strings on a small bodied instrument that play Jason Mraz via twelve year old hands
420. rain, warm and wet
421. sausage and stuffed french toast with raisin bread
422. parents who are still able to travel and visit
423. neighbors with outstretched arms of homemade goodies
424. pinecones and ribbon
425. laughter bouncing off walls
426. plates proclaiming “Peace”
427. crimson red

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