After spending the last fifteen or sixteen years being a bit of a Scrooge from November 25 though December 25, this year feels totally different. And of course, it’s all because of K and all this healing that has taken place in my life.
For the first time ever in my adult life, it is December 15th and my Christmas tree is decorated (albeit with a lighting scheme that wouldn’t be my first choice if it wasn’t for a certain 9-year-old), most if not all of my Christmas shopping & Christmas cards are done, and I have actully had time to watch some Christmas “old time” shows like “Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer”, and Frosty the Snowman. Even a few new one’s like “Hoops and YoYo Ruin Christmas” and “Taking Flight”. Last night K and I watched Disney’s “Scrooge” (not sure of the actual name” but it was pretty good). I have been listning to Chrismtas musick a lot too. Although, I have to say in light of yesterday, I am not much in the music of Christmas. More in the meanings behing some general contemporary Christain music that makes sense for this time.
Not that the holidays aren’t overcome with headaches & challenges in addition to all of this overflowing Christmas cheer. One of the big points is sll the felt expectations from family and even some friends. My head is spinning with all the things I “need” to have done. Today is the Olson Christmas in Carpenter, Iowa. You know, that itty bitty town that has the community center and about 50 people living in that town? Well, yeah. That is where we meet up. To make matters worse….it’s RAINING. Raining in Minnesota today. I just hope the drive south is now slick and we can make it there with no seeing my car in the ditch somewhere.
I have most of the things done and ready for today. Goodies baked and ready to plate up. The cheesy hashbrown taters ready to put in the oven to bake for an hour before we actually leave. The famous cheeseball and crackers. The dirty bingo gifts. A couple other gifts for some folks. Christmas cards for the family. The thing missing…..my dad. It’s been 12 years since he left this world. But his brothers and sister and all us cousins still get together to celebrate this time of year. This side of the family is the best. We all get along great. We laugh and have fun. Take silly pictures. Play board games, card games, eat way too much food. We just are a happy extending family….without my dad. We all miss him so much. when I see my uncles, I see my dad. When I see my cousin’s little 2 year old boy…I see my grandpa. He is a spitting image if my grandpa.
But for every happy step forward that has been taken this year. K coming home forever to live, my mental health staying fairly stable, a new job that I love, living in a spectacular old river town….life is pretty good. Sometimes I seem to lose sight of all the good things and stress about all the stuff that doesn’t really matter that much. You know: the perfect gifts for everyone that we buy for, pretty desserts and goodies, nice clothes to wear, painted finernails, hair just so, etc etc. BUT…the real reason for Christmas…..Jesus was Born. Jesus was born to give us life. Our life. He was born in a stable. A crappy little place because no one would let Mary and Joseph have a good roof over their heads. But this crappy stable became life for Him, for all of us. Still the shepards came. Still the angels came. Still the Wisemen came. Still…..He was most loved. He is my Savior. He is my life. He is brought me out of my pit. I have the most fantastic friends and family because of this baby boy born so many years ago.
Going to do a plug for one of my favorite churches on earth. LifeChurch.tv. Pastor Craig Groeshel will be preaching an awesome message. EXPERIENCE: We will begin showing the Christmas experience Friday Dec 21 at 11 AM CT, and we will not switch to the next week’s experience until Saturday Dec 29 at 6:30 PM CT. See the full list at http://www.lifechurch.tv/christmas .
Since my greatest Christmas wish has already been granted, it’s hard to imagine asking for anything else. But if I did, my wish for this year would be for mydaughter to know that she is loved, that she is precious, and that she isn’t going anywhere! (without me, that is).