Every year it seems Christmas comes and goes so much faster than the year before. But each year the small memories become more precious than ever.
Saturday we went to the Mall to see my Grandpa L. sitting at the large Salvation Army kettle in his uniform handing out "War Crys" and greeting people with his friendly booming voice. I have watched him sit there for as long as I can remember and wanted my children to have that as a memory as well. The boys enjoyed seeing all of the money collected in the kettle and Grandpa was delighted at our visit and treated us all to lunch. What a special treat!
Me and "Blue Eyes" at Opa's house
Christmas Eve at my Grandpa E's house, while never the same as when my Grandma was alive, still just as special because of the love he has for his children. Not overwhelming displays of affection or a lot of words spoken but just quiet satisfaction of having his child, grandchildren and great-grandchildren around him. The presents aren’t elaborate but thought is put into each item even down to picking out girly outfits for my precious little one.
Opa E. with Missy Blue Eyes
A candle light service at church is always a highlight. While I wanted it to be so meaningful my memories were made in another way. As “O Holy Night” was being sung, suddenly two of my boys whispered “OUCH!” as hot wax dripped down their fingers. I grabbed the candles and blew them out as images of the carpet on fire flashed through my mind. But the light was so enticing and they relit their candles just to repeat the scenario. It was still beautiful to see all of the little flickers of light encircling the sanctuary. Remembering that the One TRUE Light came into this world as a tiny baby.
We followed that by a family gathering at the home of my Grandparents. That is always a special time where we have a short program with the children singing or saying their piece from the church Christmas program, a time of lifting our voices together in worship to our God. As silent night was sung I watched as tears are wiped away from those missing a loved one. The traditional meal of barbequed beef sandwiches was shared and gifts were opened. Precious times, sweet memories.
Oma and Opa with the Great-Grandchildren (my boys are in the hooded towels)
Christmas morning we enjoyed new traditions of searching for the baby Jesus. And this year we gave each child three gifts to represent the gifts that the magi brought to Jesus and so read the account of that visit and talked about what each gift represented. Myrrh was a gift of covering (clothing) as it was a perfume used in covering the body. Frankincense was incense and was used in worship so they received a book bag to take with them to church with pencils, activity books, bible covers, etc. The last gift was the Gold gift which is something that is worth the most to them which of course was a toy. My parents and Grandpa were with us to enjoy Christmas dinner followed by a fun time of being together playing and watching movies.
Christmas Dinner with my parents
And yet Christmas continued on into the day after as we celebrated at my Mom and Dad’s house this time with my sister and her family. Eating, laughing, remembering things we did as children. A little bit of Chaos but the enjoyable kind!
My Dad and my sister getting ready to make the "POP!" on the song "Frosty the Snowman" Something they have done for years! My Mom and I can't seem to figure out how to do it. :)
Christmas has flown by so quickly but the precious memories formed with family remain and they only continue...