Twis The Night Before Christmas

Santa-LR

Christmas Eve day… the hustle and bustle reaches immeasurable heights as last minute shoppers make the final dash to the malls for that perfect gift.  Holiday office parties are in full swing.  Others are home preparing for family and friends to arrive – dinner cooking (is it fish? or turkey? or ham?).  Kids are eagerly counting down until Santa will arrive bringing gifts for one and all.  While still others are grabbing a quick dinner as they head to church to celebrate the real reason for the season…

For our family, the holidays have changed so much over the year.  The first change came when breast cancer took Elsie from us.  She always seemed to be the glue that brought us all together – no matter what happened all year long.

Elsie

Then Alzheimer’s took Grams from us.  Belinda grew up and headed to college – more changes.   During the first 4 years in North Carolina, she traveled home where we spent Christmas with Mom.

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Then, kidney cancer took Edythe (mom’s middle sister) from us in 2011.

When, Christmas falls on hubby’s work day, he has rotated holidays off.  This year, Rob is off because Belinda and Ashley are here!  This year we are returning to a tradition that had fallen by the wayside so many years ago…

Tonight, we will be gathered with family and extended family to celebrate the holidays together.  This year’s gathering with the Loder family has grown to include spouses and grandchildren, as well as girlfriends and their family.  Lots of food, drink and fun will be had by all.

As for Christmas Day, we will stay at home watching movies, eating, playing games – I’m sure at least one game of Rummycube or Uno will be  played. Making new memories.

As I look at our Christmas tree filled with new and old ornaments, memories of Christmas Eve’s past flash through my mind.

The many years of trying to get Belinda to go to bed so that Edythe, Elsie and I could put presents under the tree.  It was really hard carrying things past HER room to get the living room.  It always made for a lot of laughs.  Waiting patiently for mom to get off work so that we could open presents.  The early morning calls to wake everyone up.  The funny thing was – Belinda wasn’t a morning person so we always had to WAKE her up.  Really, on Christmas morning????  Opening presents was a process that took forever because Belinda wanted to play with each thing before moving on to the next gift.  We learned that games were opened last or at least towards the end or else nothing else would get opened. Great memories of days gone by…

Cherish the moments with family tonight.  Let the struggles of the year go for you never know what tomorrow will bring or if we will even be here tomorrow.   There are tears of joy, tears of sorrow for those who are no longer with us and tears of anticipation for what God has in store for me and our family over the next year.

child with present

Merry Christmas to my friends, family, Thirty One customers and hostess and all of my blog fans.  You have blessed this year in  so many ways…

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