I wrote this back in 2006 on my old blog. While some of the traditions have changed as our children have grown and moved from home, most of them stay the same. But this post has always reflected best what I love about Christmas, and I thought I’d share it. It was edited for typos, and I tried to update with better wording… and couldn’t. The passive writing will have to do. It says it best.
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Christmas… where to begin…?
It is six weeks of build-up to my very favorite part…
Thanksgiving is over, the turkey deboned, the puzzle pieced, and the Hungarian Coffee Cake is gone. Everyone is satisfied after an unusually varied meal. Someone puts on a Christmas CD. Bing Crosby sings “White Christmas.”
Christmas in Killarney
O, Holy Night
Someone pulls out the ads and we plan Black Friday…
After lunch and a freezing morning shopping, we brave the crowds again for a tree… The scent of a fresh Douglas Fir. Heavenly.
Popcorn… hot cocoa… Peppermint and cranberries.
The voices of excited children singing “Away in a Manger” as they string popcorn and cranberries.
But that’s just the beginning.
Shopping in stores playing music to honor the Savior when usually I blush to hear the words sung. The Salvation Army a presence at every stop. People smiling… just a little more patient with lines and excitable children than four months ago when shopping for back to school supplies and clothes.
Pretty wrapping paper, colorful ribbons, perky bows. Packages piled all over our tiny living room giving it the appearance of a treasure trove.
Baking smells. Hungarian Coffee Cake. Peppermint Bark. Sugar cookies.
Bundling in warm jackets to sing at the convalescent home.
O, holy night… the stars are brightly shining…
The sweet older lady rocking her baby doll to the tune of the music. She is never without her baby doll. The sight of tears in my son’s eyes when he realizes she thinks it is her real baby. (I wrote a short story about her–you’ll find it in the free “A Short Week” short story collection for my newsletter subscribers).
Fall… on your knees…
The toothless man’s grin as he tries to sing along.
We three kings…
Their thankful lonely faces as we turn to leave. My kids’ voices, thick with emotion as they realize we’re likely the only guests they’ve seen that day…
We wish you a Merry Christmas…
Mrs. Brown’s delight at our stopping. Her son’s devoted attention to her. Pastor Neipp’s grin as we sing under their window. The love they show each other the greatest gift they could give us.
Candlelight service. Gifts for our friends. Our children are so excited. They rush home and change into pajamas so we can go look at Christmas lights. The northwest development with luminarias.
The house on Vicki Lane.
Our friends’ parents who dress as Mr. and Mrs. Claus. They can’t this year. Mrs. Claus went home to be with Jesus.
It’s been one of those years.
(and 2017 wasn’t any easier than 2006!)
Home again, unwrapping presents from friends and neighbors. Hot chocolate. singing. Sleepy babies. The tree lights on and the house lights off.
It’s quiet now. Luke Chapter two… “And it came to pass… and He grew in wisdom, and in stature, and in favor with God and man…” read by a gentle masculine voice always with a trace of awe that God would come for such as he.
Oh, how I love this season.
One thing this post didn’t mention back then, probably because I hadn’t written any yet, was Christmas Fiction. I love it. I even wrote a BLOG POST about that.