Thursday, January 01, 2009

Our Holiday Celebrations

We had a wonderful Christmas visit with our out-of-state kids here. We now have another year of memories, one more year of love filling our lives. No matter how much or little money we have at a particular time, no matter what struggles individual members have been going through, no matter whether there have been tragedies (none for us this past year, thankfully), no matter what, love always trumps it all!

If you now have a picture of a loving family sitting placidly around the table, re-set the lens. We are not very placid. Although our kids are basically all of the same Faith, there are many differences in political views, matters of opinion, and anything that could possibly be "up for discussion". The great thing is that everyone has matured to the point where the animated - sometimes a little bit heated - discussions draw to a close with no door-slamming and with everyone smiling. And then come the games: Monopoly and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire this year, as we only had a couple days before people had to return home. All of us here miss all of them, but we keep close throughout the year - through email and, mostly, by telephone.

New Year's Eve found me missing more than just the children who returned home, but our parents, our siblings (by birth, marriage and friendship), and other geographically-distant family and friends. But God provides...and kept me distracted and filled.

After going to my part-time job yesterday (and enthusiastically exchanging greetings with co-workers I hadn't seen, since I had taken time off for Christmas), I then picked up a few things at the store, fixed an easy light supper, and we headed out to a friends' house for a "Pre-New Year's Eve Celebration" from 6-9 p.m. We enjoyed hot spiced apple cider, appetizers, and companionship.

When we came home, I called my co-worker and neighbor to say "We're home now," because earlier in the day I had spontaneously invited her to watch the New Year arrive with us. She and a friend of hers joined us for a little champagne, a lot of sparkling juice, and some chips and dips, but mostly for lots of great conversation. We talked about many of the same things we had talked about at the previous party: fun or exciting stories about the area, traffic, neighborhoods, public transportation, and travel in other areas in the country.

Today we attended Mass, and are now relaxing, watching the rerun of this morning's Rose Parade.

I pray that you and your family may have a blessed, joyous, peaceful New Year, trusting in God for His loving care in your lives.

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