Christmas 2012, and happily I slept until 6:30 am this morning. Neither a mouse or my spouse is stirring just yet. I am reflecting just now on how life and customs adjust with the years. Enthusiasm has evolved into satisfaction. A morning kiss will softly communicate our thankfulness for one another. Christine and I will give the other a gift we have chosen for ourselves. Santa is quite out of this picture.
Some background seasonal music will play as we prepare to leave our carriage home. For the first time in decades, the aroma of turkey is missing in our place. Christmas day and dinner and family time will be spent within hours in a venue other than our large family home. Our house was sold this past year. We now will gather at my daughter’s home and she is cooking the turkey dinner. Fortunately, we have both our children and their families living just a few blocks from us. Christine still sewed pajamas for each child. Their growth physically and intellectually seems rapid to old eyes and wondrous as we ponder what these people will become. Our own career aspirations have given way to a longing for grandchildren to find fulfillment. Our own life mission increasingly is to cheer this youngest generation. I am the elder of this clan and as a matter of fact, at the other Christmas functions with friends this year I was consistently the oldest one in attendance. It’s impossible to avoid being reflective and it’s utterly vital to resolve not to be brooding but grateful. My faith, though personal, rests in the Messianic figure called Jesus who is worshiped by millions. Perhaps of all my life details for which I am thankful today, is the fact the members of my immediate family share this faith as well as the hope it delivers. So many legends have attached to Jesus’ birth and life, yet stripped of them he remains identifiably Immanuel, God with us. He became flesh and camped here with us. He told people like me, “you believe in God, believe in me as well. I am going to prepare a place for you. If that were not true I would tell you. I tell you the truth.” So I am having a Merry Christmas and I am trusting that you are as well. Merry Christmas my friends.