Dismantling Christmas…

Dismantling Christmas…This was something in the past that I use to be ready to do on Christmas DAY.  Maybe because so many years we spent away from family when living in Colorado with my late husband Jeff. It was always tough, being away from family (it was often too expensive to fly home) and we were never sure where we “fit” at the holidays. As well, Jeff was a pastor. Christmas as a Pastor…hum, lots of responsibilities and expectations.  Then, when Jeff suddenly died, I moved back home close to my parents to raise my two precious children. As many feel, when the family is “broken” it is hard to embrace the holidays. Then put in a hurtful and dysfunctional rebound marriage…well you get the picture.  Alas, a few years back, I met Johnny and we married. For whatever reason, Christmas felt more complete. We would serve prime rib on Christmas after having aebleskiver pancakes for breakfast. We would work together both before and during Christmas. Shopping, wrapping, decorating and cooking as a team. Just felt better that way. As a mother, I wanted to give a special Christmas to my children. But more times than not I would not have accomplished this…at least I did not feel so. Life is messy…but, this Christmas, as in the past few, I  have been more at peace. And, isn’t that what Christmas is really meant to bring? Peace on earth and goodwill toward men…

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Christmas in Retrospect

Christmas in retrospect…one of my most pleasant and fulfilling Christmas’ in years. There were so many times that I was blessed to gather together with our friends, family and church family this year. I say “I” because Johnny works so many hours and misses many events. But this year I think that he was able to attend more than previous. For this I am grateful. We together hosted a table at our Churches Angel Tree Party and were able to attend the traditional Christmas Dessert that our church puts on as well. My sweet friend Stefanie hosted a beautiful and delicious cookie exchange that I had not been able to attend years previous, so I was pleased to be a part this year.  One of my “treats” was when my special friend Michelle took me to a lovely holiday lunch. I visited my dear friends at their home one evening and saw the most gigantic Christmas tree I have ever seen in someones family room! Johnny and I were privileged to have two separate dinner party’s  at our home with friends and family. One was a week prior to Christmas and the other was on Christmas day. Baking Christmas cookies with my dear mother and sister-in-law was special for me. My mother has recently moved in with my brother’s family, so to spend time with her in her new home was really good for me. My kind brother and his wife have given up their bedroom for my mother…an act of service and Christ like love. And at last, our time together on Christmas eve was very lovely at my brother’s house, a new tradition for our family as my mother has “handed the baton” to them for this family evening. Amazing food, fellowship and lots of love! Definitely, a Christmas season to remember.

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Oh, the joy of food and fellowship around the table with friends!

My dear husband Johnny works long hard hours…which are anything but ideal to plan around. So about three months ago he requested two specific days off to accommodate three couple friends that we wanted to have over for a holiday dinner.  The date was set and we were blessed that all of the couples were able to keep the date and to come and enjoy a delicious dinner with us the week before Christmas. On the menu was baked salmon and chocolate moose made from scratch. Johnny is the wonderful chef in the home (yeah!) and I am the detail person. And to my surprise and joy, our home was able to comfortably hold eight of us around the table…something that I was more than at tidbit concerned would work. When we downsized a little more than a year ago, there were trade offs…more affordable, yet smaller and not ideal for having friends and family over. But it was fine. Hooray!  The evening was lovely and the memories…oh so sweet.

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