I was alone and feeling really sad on my daughter’s birthday, which is just before Christmas. She, my son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren were celebrating together with their side of the family in two different States, in just as many States away from mine – I just started typing and here’s what came through my fingers:
As you read, keep in mind, God answered my prayers – I received a call – I’ll see them over the New Year’s holidays!
When I Think of Christmas© 2014
It’s when families came together during the holidays at Gramma’s house; when a picture comes to mind of a fireplace in the living room radiating warmth; a mixture of sweet and savory smells wafting throughout the home; family members who can’t wait to get to Gramma’s to be with everyone they’ve been missing all year-long and rushing through the door, with packages and favorite dishes to share, to help keep the heat in.
Visitors who have had nowhere else to go this Christmas are welcomed with open arms and hugs with other family members, while one of the assigned family members quietly counts “noses” then goes to the family’s secret stash of extra wrapped presents in another room, they take some out and quietly place these specially wrapped thoughtful gifts under the tree for the guests.
Cuddly hugs from a pleasingly plump Gramma, who smells like cinnamon and turkey all at once; rough bear hugs from a Grampa whose eyes twinkle with the “secret” of his peppermint candies he has in the pockets of his shirt and loose change jingles in the pocket of his pants every year, for his beloved Grandchildren as they come through the front door racing to him for a hug.
A dog or cat or two who just want to sit with you for the pleasure of seeing you again, your company, your attention and affections – and maybe a tidbit from the table later; one or several breaking out their musical instruments for an informal “jam session” and caroling of favorite Christmas songs all around; quite young children and elders of the family all napping in “heaps” of rosy happy faces, legs, arms and satisfied tummies on the comfy couches and throw pillows on the floor; babies asleep in an older persons arms, if not their own parents’, or in a playpen in one of the bedrooms set in the back of the house away from any noise.
The older children taking plates of extra treats and drinks, and going to find a quiet place in the house where they too can “catch up” with one another and play favorite games; while the younger adults hang out in the dining room sipping hot drinks talking and maybe playing a round of cards or two; some are in the kitchen helping clean up after the meal, not all can help because the kitchen might be a bit too small for that, but it doesn’t stop others from coming in to pick a piece of turkey off the bone or grab a home-made roll and leave to join the others again.
Then it comes, the expected end of the day, with reverence and solemnity due the occasion, all gather in the living room around the fire and the Christmas tree; the eldest family member reads the Christmas story, the family prays together thanking God for the many blessing each had this year and for their family; the presents are opened with the children wiggling in anticipation and excitement, some of them chosen to help hand out the gifts to everyone.
Torn wrapping, empty boxes, cut plastic ties are gathered in bags to be tossed away, presents are gathered to each family then it is time to go; Gramma and Grampa are at the door with beaming tired faces, kisses and promises to do it again next year and to keep in touch throughout the year are given all round as each family member leaves; guests are offered to “come again next year” if they’ve nowhere else to go again; each family is handed that special care package put together by Gramma, she never forgets, no one is left out not even the guests.