Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Reflections on a holiday season gone by

First, it's amazing how a new baby can completely change the flavor of a holiday, especially a holiday which celebrates the birth of a Baby. We welcomed another granddaughter into the world on December 23, and we welcomed another honorary grandson into the world on Christmas day. When we sang (or listened to) carols about the newborn Babe this year, the songs had another layer of meaning to them.

Second, it's ironic how, when I had a Real Job™, I was excited to be able to take a week or two off during Christmastime. Now that I'm doing temporary and contract work, I'm excited to be able to work for Real Money™ during Christmastime. Talk about viewing things from a new perspective...

Next, we weren't surprised when our daughter, son-in-law and their kids got a little bit of snow at their new place near New York City, but we were surprised when our missionary daughter got a little bit of snow at her new place in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in western North Carolina. We were even more suprised when our son, daughter-in-law and brand-new baby had colder weather on the Emerald Coast in the Florida panhandle than we are having in Colorado.

And we have continued our tradition of going to as many of our middle daughter's concerts as possible. Last week we drove 120 miles to a middle school choir concert where she was, um, "performing." The difference was that this time she was the director, and aside from a flute accompaniment, her "performing" was all done with her hands, as she played the choir the way we've watched Lois Cunningham and Gaylen Darrough do it at LHS and UNC.

It's strange to gather with the rest of the ward family after church on the 20th to assemble gift baskets for the poor families in the ward, then go deliver some of them and see the joy and gratitude on the recipients' faces (that's not the strange part, hang on), then go home, hear the doorbell ring, and become the recipient of one of those baskets. Our basket had something that the other baskets didn't have: an envelope with an anonymous cash gift inside. I love living in this ward.

Finally, it's fun watching our grown children shed 10 to 20 years and revert to being children again when they get together. It was our 26-year-old daughter who insisted we hang up stockings this year. And she expected to find something good inside hers on Christmas morning. She was not disappointed.

I can't wait for next year.

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