Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!
Christmas day is just hours away now.  We celebrate Christmas in a very traditional way here, reading Luke's account of the birth of Christ, exchanging gifts with family, and eating way too much good food!  Some of that has changed over the last couple of years as one of our sons has married and he and his wife alternate this holiday with both of their families.  That, too, may change in time.  Our other son will be married by this time next year so we will continue to see the family tradition evolve as the family expands.  I was thinking back to the first year that Julia and I told our parents that we would not be at one of their homes for Christmas.  Our older son was a year and a half old then and we wanted him to experience Santa Claus at his house from that point forward.  Our decision was a catalyst for change in each of our families' Christmas traditions.  I'm not so sure that they liked it at the time but they respected (or at least quietly tolerated) our decision to begin celebrating at our own home.  As best I remember, we've spent every Christmas of our sons' childhood at our own home.  The only time that we were away from here at Christmas was the occasion of the 50th wedding anniversary of my wife's parents and the boys were teenagers (or older) then.  The house that you see pictured at the top of this page is the house we have lived in for the past 25 years and is the only home that either of our sons remember.  It's their place of Christmas memories.  

There's nothing magic about our Christmas tradition or yours, for that matter.  I don't envy your traditions and I don't expect you to envy mine.   I only hope that all of us will be able to reflect on our Christmas memories and smile.  I hope that we will be able to remember them as good times, not stressful times. And more than anything else, I hope that all of us will remember that we celebrate this day because of a God who would rather have died than lived without us.  

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