Every year Rick's Wilson family has Christmas. One year we were blessed to host it in our home. I had a good time. I loved to host family dinners and get togethers. But most years this Christmas party is at his Aunt Bonita's home. I never knew my mother-in-law. She passed away long before I met Rick. I met his Aunt Erma and Aunt Bonita early in our relationship. They have always treated me like I was their niece rather than an in-law. This picture was from last years Christmas at Aunt Bonita's. We play "dirty Santa" by bring a "hers" and "his" gift and drawing numbers. You can keep or "steal" one that you like. It's pretty fun. And being with family is wonderful.
Christmas 2009 was our last Christmas. I think he knew that it would be. We spent it with his sisters and brother. He went on ahead to have some time with them. I believe he enjoyed that time. He loved his family. He loved everyone he met, and everyone who knew him loved him as well. Rick had a way about him that you liked him instantly. He was a friend to everyone he knew. He was able to meet and make friends so easily. Remember the 2 liter coke story? There are many more like those. Sometime I will get into our yearly ritual of going over to old friends of mine from childhood every Christmas. Some funny stories from then.
Christmas has always been a special time for me. I remember as a child the wonder and anxiety and anticipation I felt when I was waiting for Santa. When I was a child, my brothers and I all shared one room. Bruce and Greg were in one bed and I in another. Doug was in a baby bed in our parents room. We had a 6 room house, one electric plug per room and a wood stove for heat. We had a cistern on the enclosed back porch which served as a utility room. The mornings would be so cold until the fire got going. We had no running water. We were happy. The rent in that house was $15.00 a month for most of my life. When they moved out it was $45.00 a month. We paid the electric. There was no such thing as air conditioners in the summer, and the TV was a black and white TV with an outside antenna which received channel 5, 8, and 13. Sometimes we could get channel 4.
Getting the Christmas tree was a job Greg and I had when we became old enough. We would go walking out in the woods looking for the perfect cedar tree. Now, if you have ever done that, you know that that is an oxymoron. You can not find a perfect cedar tree. It will be one sided, too big or too little, or half dead on one side. But that would be our task. Sometimes we would walk for a half mile for what looked like the perfect tree to find it was perfect until we looked at the back. We would finally come up with a good tree and take it home. Mom would look it over and either keep it or send us back out for a different tree. You can not remove part of the top, and sometimes you can not shorten one either. It changes the way it looks. Then she would place it in the stand and we would help her carry it into her bedroom. We would place it in front of the double window facing the road. She would put the lights on it then we would all decorate it with Christmas music playing on the stereo. The reason the tree was in their bedroom was it was farther from the fire. Real cedar trees dry out. The tree was never up more than 1o days, and we had to water it every day. I also remember when my dad brought home the first "mini" light strings. He was so excited that they would blink. To this day their tree has to have blinking color mini lights. Can't be clear lights. And they have to blink wildly!
During this Christmas Season I hope you all take a moment and reflect on the true meaning behind the Christmas Season. It is really about the Birth of the One who came to save us. Please keep that in your heart as you practice your traditions. I started one tradition when my children were small. I read from the Bible the passages that reflect on the birth of Jesus. And though my children are grown, I still read it. They sometime chose to go about their business, but I read it anyway. I love the Lord and want to honor Him in everything I do.
I love you all.......
To be continued...........
The Gospel according to St. Luke 2
The Birth of Jesus
Mt. 1.18-25 1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyre'ni-us was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, (because he was of the house and lineage of David,) 5 to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
8 ¶ And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15 ¶ And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.