Friday, December 25, 2015
I watch the sun rise, quietly spreading its welcoming glow over a crisp, chilly, snowy landscape.  It’s Christmas Morning.  I have my hands wrapped around a hot cup of coffee.  So far, it’s just my three youngest grandchildren and myself greeting the day.  My husband’s snoring echos through the house…ignored phone alarms jingle in the room where my son  and daughter-in-law are relishing a little more shut-eye.  The kids are being entertained with “The Flintstones” and “Tom and Jerry” Christmas cartoons.  It’s a respite before food preparation will require our full attention.  As I ponder the day and the life events of the last year, my 7 y.o. granddaughter announces she is slipping into her Christmas dress so she’ll be ready to open presents when the rest of the adults finally wake up!  I smile at the wonder and innocence of a child’s heart and it brings joy and gratitude to mine.  I contemplate the Gift… Jesus… I celebrate this day.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 
Christmas has come and gone.  In spite of all the heartache, trauma, and unexpected events in the months before Christmas, I have to say it was one of the sweetest and gentle-est I have ever had.   My dad passed away in March, followed by a summer of sorting through his estate, grieving and wondering what my new normal would be without him. In September a careless car driver turned in front of my motorcycle riding husband.  As I write this, our life revolves around multiple therapy appointments a week, miscellaneous medical appointments, prescriptions and hours of therapy at home. Although we rejoice in the injuries he doesn’t have, our life has been turned upside down. 

Since my hubby wasn’t able to climb in the attic, balance on joists, and bring the Christmas decorations down, I decided to go tree shopping. I adopted an awkward, skinny, little Douglas Fir, purchased an 88 cent package of tinsel (my favorite tree decoration), a $1.99 string of twinkle lights and a bird ornament on sale at a local floral shop.  It was all I needed this year…my year of simplicity and gratitude.  My little tree sheltered the gifts I shopped for and wrapped for my three youngest grandchildren, it sparkled and twinkled from morning until bedtime, and it earned the proud title of a real “Charley Brown Tree”  from the little ones.

 We cooked, we ate, we laughed….A stained table cloth was used and re-used Christmas Eve and Christmas Day because it was all I had.  The centerpiece was mysteriously adorned ….

Christmas Day I used dishes and glassware from our grandmothers who are no longer with us. I love the sentimentality and memories that they carry….and I love my daughter-in-law who for two hours helped me clean the kitchen and wash those treasured dishes….we talked and giggled and enjoyed a glass (or maybe two) of wine…

Papa was gifted with extra snuggles and loves because he almost wasn’t with us this Christmas…

On holidays, my husband’s tradition is the singing of The Doxology.  Around our Christmas table with the stained table cloth, the plastic toy motorcycle centerpiece, and the table settings that would soon create the never-ending-dish-washing, we joined hands and Garys’ rich voice led us in our singing prayer… “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow…” my eyes misted as I missed my dad’s hand in mine …while my heart soaked in the beauty of the voices around me…


  1. Your heart speaks as it always does. You are making and taking the time to mourn and heal…blessed are! Beautifully written as memories!

  2. Jeralyn, I love your writing. What a beautiful, calming post this is. I'm sorry for the loss of your father. ((hug)) Continued prayers for your husband's healing. ((xoxo))

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *