Makes Me Sigh

Pine Cones and Pennies

If I am to be honest, I would have to say that this was not the merriest Christmas on record.  Having said that, we are well and we are fed, so it’s also not the worst Christmas on record either.

I will not bother to whine about the particulars because I doubt that I am the only person in America who has been slapped upside the head by life lately or that my woes are worthy of mention compared to those that I know many of you are suffering.

In addition to all that, shortly after lunch on Christmas day, my mother-in-law’s twin brother came to the backdoor unannounced.   Aunt Jean and I were in the kitchen washing up the lunch dishes when Uncle Leo appeared in the doorway.

I could see in his face that he had come to deliver the news we had all been expecting.  “Pearl is gone,” he said quietly and matter-of-factly.  After a long illness and untold suffering, Aunt Pearl had finally yielded the pain of this life to the sweet relief of death. And I did not blame her. She was 85-years-old.

Later that afternoon, AD and Sean and I went for a walk around the block to clear our heads and to see if we could find our misplaced merry.  The sun sparkled brightly through leafless trees and the December air was cold and cleansing; its sting felt good on my face.  AD and I walked hand-in-hand, listening to Sean chatter as he trotted ahead of us, collecting pine cones for me to carry home.

Before we were home, I realized that next year and in the years to come,  I won’t remember the sorrows of this season, for they too shall pass.  I will only remember how Sean’s hair shimmered like a brand new penny under the winter sun and the prickly feel of a pine cone pressed into my hand.

* * *

What will you remember of this holiday season?

81 thoughts on “Pine Cones and Pennies

  1. Sitting with my Mom on the couch while she re-taught me how to knit and purl. The first time was 30 years ago. This time was much better.

  2. It was my husband’s first Christmas without his father. My grandfather went into the hospital the day after Christmas and will have open heart surgery this week. It was the one year anniversary of when my close friend learned her cancer returned — she passed away three months ago. And it rained instead of snowed.

    But… Christ was born. Christ died. Christ rose again.

  3. I am sorry to hear of your loss.

    Unfortunately out Christmas was not without tumult this year either, so my heart DEFINITELY goes out to you.

    But of course I have reason to smile because of my beautiful boys and husband.

    Happy New Year!

  4. I’m so sorry about your Aunt Pearl.

    I will remember the warmth, once again, of family and also of seeing old high school friends who were in town visiting. I am so blessed.

  5. Is it sad if I say that I’m not sure that I will remember any of it? Or is that okay?

    It was a very typical Christmas for us. Perhaps I will remember making ornaments for the tree with my children. I think what I will definitely take with me is the little bits of the relationships I have added to with them this season.

  6. This will be the christmas that tested me to see if my 13 year marriage and 8 year business will survive or not. Infidelity and the current economy are giving me the most difficult time of my life so far. I dont have kids, no innocents will be harmed. oh and my stepfather died. 2009 will hopefully bring healing (but if the economy gets any worse….)

  7. That our family tree has been increased by one from last year-Grayson was born to our youngest son and his darling wife. What a blessing. And the oldest grandchild (18 months) learned to say, “Love you, JJ.” That is music to my grandmother ears! Blessings. May the Lord encourage your heart as you process the loss of your aunt and bless you with a glorious New Year.

  8. Sorry to hear of your loss….tough to hear the news on Christmas Day.

    I want to capture the memories of just us and the kids by the fire on Christmas Eve, reading stories, daughters playing carols on the piano, snuggled in jammies. Precious moment.

  9. Our Christmas this year was not so merry either. We are sick of being transients and were kind of down. Even nomads own their own tents. We didn’t do very well at shopping, and the kids weren’t overjoyed beyond like they normally are (although they are not picky children).

    But I will remember Abel praying at dinner, “Thank you God, for making us grateful for our presents, even though we weren’t at first.”

    Sorry to hear of your loss. You’re right though; this Christmas is just one of many, and will blur with other, better ones in memory.

  10. I will remember the boy that was my foster son crying because we are migrating in March and he isn’t coming with us. I will remember wishing for a perfect world. But then I know that there’s a divine plan, we have given him everything we could, and his Aunt and Uncle want him. A Goodbye Christmas.

  11. Being awaken at 1 in the morning by ringing phone. Our daughter had gone into labor 6 weeks early and was having an emergency c-section. Antonio Cruz S., our 10th grandchild & the third one born this year, was born on Christmas morning while the family slept. Well, Grandpa and the rest slept. Mee-maw paced.

  12. Beautiful, as ever. It was a time of losses in our family, too, but it was a pretty calm holiday for the most part, healing commenced for the sick one, and we are all together. I will remember my two boys’ joy at giving each othertheir favorite gifts :wub:

  13. The sight of my baby brother cradling his firstborn (a Christmas baby) with infinite tenderness.
    The glee on my boy’s faces as they went to sleep beside the lit tree.
    The peace that comes from hanging with a family that loves you.

    So sorry about your Aunt.

  14. I will remember my 4 year old daughter singing “Deck the halls with boughs of holly, ‘Tis the season to be naughty” and roaring with 4 year old laughter.

    I’m sorry for your family’s loss.

    Your post made me think of that song by the Byrds. Look it up on youtube when you have a moment. “Turn turn turn”. I find it both comforting and inspiring.

  15. This was the first year our girls bought each other a gift, and I will remember their excitement in both giving and receiving. And then I will remember my 3 yr old bursting into tears after opening a sweater from her aunt…”I didn’t want a sweater! I wanted a toy!”
    The children are overtired, overstimulated and cranky. Must simplify next year.

  16. Sorry about Aunt Pearl. It’s hard to have holidays dampered by loss. I will remember Anja lovingly calling “Ottie” (Auntie) and “Unca” (Uncle) to my brother and sister-in-law, constantly in search of them if they weren’t in view. I will remember all of us going out for a pre-gift walk, pulling Anja along in her first sled ride, and her trailing her little mitten in the snow as she rode, trying to feel it through the fleece.

  17. Our Christmas this year was a good one, so I’ll remember relaxing time spent with family (both my husband’s and mine), and our 7-month-old’s excitement with his first Christmas presents (or, more accurately, the wrapping paper).

  18. I will remember following through with my promise to stop all renovations even though our kitchen ceiling is not there and our home is a disaster.
    I will remember my son and daughter being absolutely thrilled with their gifts from Santa.
    I will also remember talking with my brother who I have not seen in almost a decade. The love and care is there but the ability for either of us to travel so far is not.
    I will remember hoping for one Christmas in the not to distant future to have our entire family around us, being able to hug them and feed them and pray with them again.
    I am so sorry about your Aunt Pearl. I hope and pray that you and your family have a wonderful 2009.

  19. Ah, but just think of the wonderful gift Aunt Pearl received. How nice for her to be “home” for Christmas.

    Your posts (and these comments) make me see how blessed I am. No heartaches, no fears, no disasters or lost loved ones.

    Instead, I’ll remember that flights WEREN’T cancelled, and trains WEREN’T late, and that we were all able to get together for Christmas.

    * * * *

    As always, I love your outlook Quirky. I am reminded of Pollyanna who got a pair of old crutches in a barrell of used junk, “charity” from the church. Even though she wanted a doll she was happy that she didn’t need the crutches. ~ AM

  20. Simply that the kids arived BEFORE the ice storm and the next dy made it home safely. Cocoa is such a delightful grandpuppy!

    Christmas/New Year’s holidays are the harddest. They do remain in our memories and leave an ache.

    Sean is the BEST medicine.

  21. I am so sorry for your loss.

    We lost my father-in-law on the 23rd and my mother-in-law is in the hospital and will be joining my father-in-law soon.

    I will remember tht we had Chritmas at my in-laws house, just the three of us and our son declaring that it was the best Christmas ever.
    I will remember opening gifts with my mother-in-law in her hospital room.
    I will remember going to visit with my family and the time there making my husband laugh even though he was grieving the loss of his father.
    But, most of all I wlll remember that this Christmas will pass and in the future will still celebrate the birth of Christ.

  22. I wonder if heaven is as wonderful a time to enter heaven as I imagine that it is.

    I’m not sure how I will remember this Christmas. Possibly the last one in this home in this city. Also, it’s the Christmas our nephew’s wife was pregnant. He lived with us for several years, so this is almost our grandchild. That is fun, but next Christmas will be more fun!

  23. I will remember helping my oldest make cookies for Santa for the first time.

    I will remember the excitement that my husband and I felt putting all the Santa gifts out in front of the tree on Christmas Eve. Setting up the video camera so that we could capture the opening of gifts.

    I will also remember the mediocre reaction my 2.5 year-old had to her very expensive battery-powered Barbie Jeep…

    I will remember that my 7 month old just wanted to eat the tags and paper. Although, she was very giddy when daddy showed her a baby-sized Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal.

    I will remember this as the Christmas that my husband made me cry by giving me a beautiful, unexpected necklace.

    I will remember it as the first Christmas that my fireman hubby has been off for Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day…won’t happen again for several years.

  24. That I do truly love the man I am dating and that he tried so hard to please me. We will be able to record all of our memories on the charm bracelet he gave me and I couldn’t be more excited to find out what is next in store for us.

  25. Amid the heartbreaking sadness and loss I am so sorry. 🙁

    We are also not without our sadness and losses this holiday season.

    But if I close my eyes for just a second or two I can see such joy my heart could burst from it all. I just need to gather it to me and hold on tight.

    God’s Blessings everyone to you and yours in the New Year!


  26. I will remember a child’s answered prayer.

    We traveled almost 600 miles to take our two grandsons – ages 6 and 8 – to visit their parents who have been incarcerated for six years. The visit with their dad went fine. We were notified that the visit with the mother was cancelled because of low staff that week. My husband called and talked to the warden to plead the boys case and we got a maybe. The wardon said to call by 7:30 the next morning and check with him again….which still meant we had to drive to a motel near the facility and be on standby. I didn’t tell the boys that we might not get to see their mother until that night. I explained the situation and told the boys we needed to pray that we could see their mom the next day and immediately the 8 year old dropped to his knees.

    Overnight the temperature dropped to 24 degrees…when we called at 7:30, the warden reluctantly told us to come on out at 10:00. Our daughter-in-law told us during our visit, that the work details cannot go out when the temperature is less than 28 degrees….SO… because of the cold weather, there was enough staff to supervise the special visit. We were able to stay for four hours and when we left, we noticed the temp had gone up to 28 degrees.

    A child’s faith and an answered prayer is what I will remember from the Christmas of 2008.

  27. Walking on a deserted beach in glorious afternoon sunshine with our toddler, watching her laugh with delight at the waves as she splashed about. The air was crisp and clear, we were with family, and everything was just fine.

  28. My condolences on Aunt Pearl…..this Christmas seemed like such a blur. I will remember it for having all of my family together, but hopefully it won’t seem like such a race next year…such a whirring, busy, fast-paced race that I can’t wait to reach the end of. I just want to rest now. I hope you are able too, as well.

  29. Do you think they celebrate Jesus’ birthday in heaven? If so, just imagine Aunt Pearl at that party. Oh, I can only imagine…

    I’ll remember the musical at church as one of the most special ever. We combined choirs with another church which made it really powerful. Every song was about the name of Jesus. I have never felt more privileged to be a part of such a production.

  30. I will remember my children laughing and playing and how fun it was to be with my mother this Christmas and my husband’s attentiveness and love.

  31. I will remember this as the year having both my children and their loved ones at church together celebrating the birth of our Savior, our big eve dinner and tree opening with lots of laughter….and then the bittersweet learning of DD’s BF’s brain tumor with pending surgery. I took mental snapshots throughout the evening and knew I would remember this Christmas as a forshadowing of our year to come.

  32. So sorry to hear of of your loss, but am celebrating Aunt Pearl’s homegoing. I like to imagine that celebrating Christmas in heaven is beyond anything we can imagine.

    The last few months have been difficult for us as well. We too lost our merry this year, but we do have hope because we have Jesus. My favorite memory is our wonderful Christmas eve worship service. Awesome!

  33. Found you from BooMama’s site…Beautiful post…

    I will remember that no matter how long my mother is gone…I will not stop missing her until I join her in Heaven one day. And I will cherish the memories and traditions she left behind. (She passed away from cancer two years ago.) I will yearly treasure the Christmas ornaments she made with her hands that now adorn my own tree, and I will carry the joy in my heart that she always had on Christmas morning…no matter how difficult her circumstances in this life.

    I will remember the disbelief on our seven-year-old’s face when he discovered the four wheeler on Christmas morning…just for him. And the look of resignation and nausea on his face when he played the part of a sheep in the church Christmas play. And…that this year, prior to Christmas, he was more excited about the gifts he was giving to us than the ones he may receive.

    I will remember laughing and joking with our teenage son about the origins of pink eye.

    …that this year was the Great Gerken Baking Day Debacle 2008. And although everything went wrong…there was, as always laughter and there will be sweet memories.

    We finally got a good family picture…my favorite ever!

    And…most of all…I will remember the perfect gift…that more than 2000 years ago, in a humble stable…a Savior, my Savior came to save us from our sin, our imperfection, our sorrow, our hopelessness, our failure, our pain. Jesus came…and really everything else pales in comparison.

    Thanks for letting us share…I enjoyed visiting your lovely blog. Sending prayers of God’s comfort and peace your way.

    Kelly Gerken

  34. I think the highlight of this Christmas was that I was able to create wonderful gifts for my family while working. Our gallery wrapped canvas prints were perfect for my cousin who just had a second baby. Best of all, employee discounts.

  35. So sorry this season wasn’t all you desired, and about your Aunt Pearl.

    I will remember this Christmas as the first year my first born didn’t believe in Santa…

  36. I will remember that as I drove to church on Christmas Eve, was stopped at a red light, and then rear-ended from behind, and even after the driver took off, thus turning it into a hit-and-run, that after carefully driving back home and not making it to church that night, that after checking my policy that my deductible will be $300, which will almost wipe out my emergency fund after all of the things that have come up in the past few months, that I am well, uninjured, have a home, a wonderful family, two beautiful darling cats whom I kiss not nearly enough, and a God who will always be there, no matter what. It’s not easy to be calm after an accident, especially one that wasn’t your fault, but it is easy to be happy and content, once you realize that what matters, what truly matters, is there. And that you are safe.

  37. I came over here from Boo-Mama’s page and have to tell you this was a beautiful post. I am, however, sorry for your loss and pray God envelopes you all with His comfort.

    I will remember this Christmas as the first in a long time that we actually enjoyed the entire season, made some sweet memories and even started a new tradition linking us to traditions started in previous generations in my family.

    This Christmas season was truly special.

    I will visit again. In fact, I’ve already added you to my blogroll.


  38. After my family was in a serious car accident (not our fault) on Thanksgiving and my husband spending 16 days in Telemetry, we were all together. We were all aware that it could very well not have been possible for him to be there. God truly blessed us and are thankful!

  39. This was the first Christmas my parents didn’t feel able to travel to be with us and I missed them very much. It was also our first Christmas as grandparents and we were able to spend part of Christmas Day with our new granddaughter. Seemed like a ‘circle of life’ Christmas.

  40. I will remember that even though it wasn’t the merriest of Christmas’, it was a time to acknowledge the wonderful event that brought my Saviour to me so that there will come a day when I will celebrate His brith with Him.

    My prayers are with you and your family during this time of loss.

  41. I’ll remember an amazing Christmas play put on by some incredibly talented people at my church, and I’ll remember the wonderfully kind lady who sat with my son in the back row while I sat closer up. I’ll remember the fun we had with our elf, and our “Polar Van Express” ride, and the cookie exchange we did in my son’s classroom. And the joy that came from giving more than getting… and love… and family… and friends. And most of all, a baby in a manger, lying in the straw that fed the animals, knowing that one day, HE would become the Bread of Life. Thank you… for clarity in a time that can seem so foggy and dim. Happy New Year…. may it only leave you with the very best of memories!

  42. I will remember watching my four year old son opening his presents. How he opened a small hole in the wrapping and peeked, and then he ripped it open with great excitement.

    It may not sound like much, but my four year old has autism. It was amazing.

  43. I will always remember blubbering like an idiot in front of my entire extended family (and not caring one bit) when I opened my gift from my 10-year-old. She had been secretly working on it for weeks in our basement, whenever she had a spare minute. She was so proud to give me her creation–a 2009 calendar which she designes and with a cover that read “12 Months, 12 Reasons to Love Mom.” I get choked up thinking about it even now. I will treasure it every day of 2009 as it hangs in my kitchen, and I’ll treasure it every day for the rest of my life. I’ll blog about it when I have time, but suffice it to say that was THE BEST Christmas present I’ve ever gotten.

  44. Being 2 weeks away from our due date; that in the midst of a house now chaotic and in disarray because of a house flood, that me and my hubby worked so well together as a team, drawing near to each other and the Lord. I’ll also remember the sacrificial love of my dear parents who gave us a blessed Christmas Eve and the stillness and quiet of a Christmas morning in the arms of my love.

  45. I’m so sorry about your aunt. My sweet gra ndmother died two weeks before Christmas at the young age of 106. Yes, I did not type that incorrectly, she was 106 and very sorely missed now. I will remember this Christmas as the one that reminded me all I really need is Jesus and there is just no substitute for Him.

  46. My 44 yr. old profoundly deaf sister had a surprise for all of us this Christmas. She had surgery to receive cochlear implants! She can hear for the first time in her life. I can’t stop crying just thinking about our Christmas miracle!

  47. The shock and joy of opening a gift from my 26 year old son of two tickets to the Eagles concert, that I was convinced I’d never get to see live because (1) they’re older than me and (2) their tickets are ridiculously expensive.

  48. This Christmas was spent trying to rebuild my marriage after discovering my husband’s infidelity. Rebuilding my relationship with my Lord and Savior and being grateful for a minister who is there to hear our pain and sorrow and try to walk us in the right direction to heal. It was spent trying to express to my children that love exists and that sometimes things happen, for the wrong reasons, that make us realize what is truly important.
    It’s a season that I wish to forget in the years to come. Very few know of the situation I have endured this year. I am grateful to God for the strength that He has given me. I pray daily for His strength to see me from sunrise to sunset.
    I am sorry for your lost.

  49. Oh, thanks so much for making me reflect….I really needed it tonight!!!

    I’ll remember this first Christmas for my baby girl, spending lots of lazy time at home with my kiddos (since we can’t afford to do all of the outings we usually do), visiting my grandparents, and starting new traditions. May all our Christmases be this Merry!

  50. Though I’m sorry that you and your family are grieving for your Aunt Pearl, I’m glad to know that she is at peace…how comforting to be able to know someone you love is with the One who loves her most.

    This Christmas, I will remember that God cares about the little things…like my desire to get my baby boy a real metal Tonka truck. I know it seems trite, but this year was full of tiny blessings which added up to a whole lot of joy for my kids.

  51. Wow, what a sweet post. I had not stopped to think about what I will remember most.

    Probably my most favorite memory is my 2 year old son calling our tree “the Jesus tree” all season long. I have spent hours trying to think of ways to make sure Jesus is our focus, and one afternoon of decorating the tree while telling my son the story of Jesus’ birth turned it into the Jesus tree (his doing).

  52. Our 2008 was filled with many highs and many, many lows. My son’s epilepsy was diagnosed after a long hospital stay of viral ensephalitis. He suffers from seizures almost daily. His fiance broke up with him. My dad of 87 years died. I now have no living parents. My grandson was in the hospital on Christmas. He had a double ear infection and the virus traveled through to his femur and knee and settled. He had to have emergancy surgery. I am feel very sad this year. But I serve a God who can help me through these times. I still praise Him. Great is His Faithfulness.

  53. Some years are bittersweet aren’t they? In the midst of pain to see beauty, hope and gratitude is one of God’s greatest gifts.

  54. I am sorry for your loss, thinking of you.

    What will I remember from this year? A good friend overseas fighting and his family home. Chatting with them and hoping their day is okay. The wonder in our daughter’s eyes, still not getting Christmas, but humoring mama and daddy over their excitement. A simple bath, playing with toys. A mother’s happiness as finally a family complete.

    Thank you for asking, and making me think of what was important this week.


  55. I will remember this Christmas with a slightly sad yet grateful heart. What I will remember sadly is that for the first time in the lives of my 5 children they were not all physically’together’ for Christmas. But at least we were just a phone call,a text message,an IM, or even a webcam away from each other. One with a high risk first pregnancy in Il, One with a collapsed lung in a NJ hospital, One trying for 4 days ,stranded in an airport, to get home. One family with three little ones with pink eye and a stomach virus, and one family with a bad case of flu. Oh and have we shared the love with others! 🙂

    I will remember that for those of us who were together (sick as we were), we laughed and played and made the best of being together even in times of ‘not so great’!

    I will remember that on the night that our Savior was born, Mary and Joseph had to travel outside of their comfort zone, they were away from family and friends, their lodgings were less than AAA approved, and yet there in the hay far from their home, a miracle, Christmas happened right there as that little “Stranger in the Straw” was born.

    So yes, I will remember with a grateful heart, that regardless of our circumstances, Christmas will still be Christmas even if only in our hearts.

  56. My husband and son accidentally knocked over the tree while “sword fighting” with foam noodles. I was upset over the broken tree base and broken ornaments. Then I gained some perspective and realized how blessed I am to have a happy, healthy boy and a husband who is not too busy to play with him.

  57. I’m so sorry for your loss. I had an uncle killed on Thanksgiving morning 17 years ago and can still remember the shock and heartache. I know it makes the holiday so very sad for you but, Aunt Pearl met our Lord and Savior on Christmas Day!!! WOW!

    I hope that I don’t really remember much from this Christmas, although, I know that I will. My doctor called me at noon on Christmas Eve with the results of my MRI I had had done recently. He referred me to a spinal surgeon. I have spinal stenosis. It explained many of my problems… least, I not crazy 🙂 but wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, either. I’m 49.

    I have a new grandson who was born on Dec. 1. He’s wonderful; healthy and beautiful. But, my son-in-law HATES animals….all kinds. I had wondered why they had not brought the baby over to Grammie and Grandpa’s house. They live just 25 miles away. We go to see him 2-3 times a week.

    They were here for 2 hours Christmas Day but refuse to bring him here because of our dogs. We have 2 mini-schnauzers…..the mother (4 yrs. old) and her pup (1 yr.old). They are clean and well-behaved. I did not see this coming at all. No one said a word to us about it until I asked if they could come over. My daughter refused to come. This has just broke my heart. It’s like being called an unfit parent.

    I’ve cried more this weekend than I’ve cried for years. I was so excited about being a grandma. To treat me like I’m unfit is so insulting. I have a Christmas tree just for my grandson, a bassinet fixed just for him, a “grandbaby’s first Christmas” picture frame with no picture for it, etc. I could write pages as to the kind of mother I am and have been. I could show you pictures of my home and these “vicious” dogs. You would see how completely unreasonable this is.

    I never, ever in my wildest dreams would have thought that any of my children would be so mean and hurtful to me, certainly not my only daughter who I thought I had a great relationship with.

    We are all alive and well, sort of. While my diagnosis is awful, it isn’t terminal. My grandson is healthy and doing fine. But, this Christmas has stunk!

  58. I was married to my best friend on December 6th. We had to “ring out the year” on a happy note, as 2008 was full of misery – my father-in-law’s death to cancer, my sister-in-law’s suicide as she could not cope, my sister being diagnosed with Celiac – and an overwhelming daycare year.

    I will remember the look on Roger’s face when I walked down the stairs in our house, to hold his hand and together with our children in front of friends and family, declare our love.

  59. I will remember…

    My 2yo son saying, “Merry Twissmass!” over and over in the sweetest voice…

    My 9yo and 2yo sons playing with all of their cousins – particularly the one who has autism. For that time, they were all the same, and there was nothing different (aside from ages) about any of them…

    Staying in our PJs all day on Christmas Day…

    I hope I remember how blessed I am right now. There may come a day when that is not the case, but it is now, and I am grateful for it!

    I want to remember how at peace I am right now. The peace of God is a wonderful gift – given freely!

    Happy New Year to all!

  60. Hi, I came over from BooMama’s too. I am new to blogging and I don’t really understand all that goes on here, but I love it.

    I want to join in with the group to say what a lovely story you wrote, it was both sweet and sad and also hopeful. I love hope, it has kept me going when times were tough. One of my favorite scriptures on hope is Hebrews 6:19-20.

    Come to think of it, I think I’ll use this scripture as my memory verse for the first one on Beth Moore’s challenge. Have you signed up yet?

    And so, on to my memory from this Christmas. Well, several I guess, first, Jeremy wasn’t here, he is in Iraq. Second his twin sis, Kristen announced that she will be adding to the growing number of grandchildren in this clan! So that will make seven. Whew, it’s getting busy around here. And my honey and I had a quiet day just the two of us. It was great. I’ll take it however it comes and enjoy while I all that I can.

    Be Blessed and have joyous New Year!

  61. I will remember that life changes and we go on. It was my first Christmas as a widow and my daughters’ first Christmas without their Daddy. Strangely enough it was not as sad a Christmas as it was last year. That Christmas was swallowed whole with the knowledge that it would be the last spent together watching our girls open presents and eating our favorite holiday dinner.

    This year I will remember the faces of my girls when they were completely surprised when they received a very special gift. I will remember my mother relaxing at my house on Christmas Eve, the torch finally passed on to me to host the celebrations, now free to enjoy her grandchildren.

    I will remember that we are able to have good times in the midst of sorrow, if we don’t forget to appreciate our blessings.

  62. I am going to remember how this past year I had no siblings due to being estranged all of my life and 2 of them suddenly dying at Thanksgiving time but how my youngest brother sought me out and found me and I was able to call him on Christmas day. My thinking this Christmas was wow I have siblings.

  63. This year I will remember sitting around the dinner table have a good time with my family–no fights, no tension–for the first time in years.

  64. I will remember being stressed over our “new holiday budget”. Being worried about what extended family would think of the token gifts and how my teenagers would react to the scaled back version of gift giving and receiving. I will remember being pleasantly surprised at how much more I ended up enjoying the holiday once the decision was made to scale back. I HOPE I remember that in the end everyone else scaled back, no one was un-happy and it is the “new” way we are doing Christmas in the future regardles of the economy!!!

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