25 January, 2012…

I have always loved Christmas, and the whole holiday season…my parents still laugh about my “playing Christmas records in October” when I was young…many memorable Christmas’ have passed, but I still break out the old favorites[Glen Campbell, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole], and some new traditions[Chieftains, Celtic, Civil War period music], pretty early…the “Spirit of Christmas”, after all, is not to be “boxed up” after the first of the year, but should be a fresh in our minds year round…and although I do love the lights, the tree, and the decorations, traditions that my parents, grandparents and family have always shared, the most important thing I’ve learned, is “what Christmas is all about”-the birth of our Savior, ’tis Christ the Lord!

"Ma and Pa"--priceless!

"Glory to the Newborn King"

This year, for the first time in a number of years, I didn’t have to worry about getting called to work, as Christmas Day was “calm and bright”…so, what a blessing it was, to be able to spend the whole day with my family, going to Sue’s, my parents’, my Uncle’s, and then finally back home, watching smiling faces exchanging gifts at each stop, and of course a delicious Christmas dinner at Ma’s…

I always enjoy watching faces light up when reading a heartfelt card, or opening the perfect present…many wonderful things were given[and received] this year, and one the favorites turned out to be the “Hallmark recordable storybooks” that we gave to Chloe and Cayden…what a great idea-being able to record your voice reading “The Very First Christmas”, or “The Night Before Christmas”….

"Christmas is for Children..."

Another tradition that our family continues to carry on, is that we go house-to-house on the evenings following Christmas, which makes it a week-long celebration of sorts…and this year, Sue’s Mum, sister and brother-in-law were able to come visit from out of town, a very nice surprise[again,the weather cooperated]…I also got to spend some time with Nicole, my “unadopted daughter”!…each of these small gifts of quality time, as the commercial says, “priceless”…

Many families have experienced the loss of a loved one during the holiday season, and ours

"O Christmas Tree..."

is no exception, with my Grandmother passing away several years ago in December…it was especially difficult, as she was the last of my Grandparents, but I know that I was Blessed to have four wonderful Grandparents for so many years…through a strange little “gift from above”, this years’ tree ended up being a gift from them!…so, with that in mind, I adorned the 13 foot frasier with silver and gold, and homemade angels…”God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen,let nothing you dismay, remember Christ our Savior, was born upon this Day!”

"Deck the halls..."

“Merry Christmas Everyone!”

"Happy Holiday's"