It’s Christmas night, about 11:00, and I just sat down to do some thinking about the past few days.
They’ve been good.
But sometimes they’ve also been a little challenging.
We have a new puppy, and she doesn’t play well with others yet. I was stubborn, and refused to board her. I’ve paid for it. She’s now chewing on her toy Sara gave her. Actually, she’s chewing on the shell of the toy, as she has already gotten to the stuffing which I removed and threw away. But she doesn’t seem to care much.
Eloise and I have learned to answer the same question again and again as if it’s the first time it was asked. My mother-in-law is visiting for a few days, and her short-term memory problem is worsening. But she has had a great time playing with great grandchildren and being with family, and we’re thankful she’s here.
I think it adds so much to have four generations together for Christmas, as we did today with Reba and my dad being part of the celebration. Their traditions that they handed to us are a big part of how we celebrate the season.
Our daughter-in-law Kathy’s parents are also in town, and we’ve gotten to spend time with them last night as we had tamales and opened some gifts at our house and again today at lunch at Mark and Kathy’s as we opened more gifts. It’s so good to share grandchildren with such fine people.
We’ve had wonderful food — some of it traditional in our family, and some new things which may become part of the our tradition. Sara made Alabama Fruit from her grandmother’s recipe, and Kathy made a corn casserole that’s become part of the tradition. Last night’s tamales was a first for us, but it’s a long-time Texas Christmas tradition, and likely one that will become a standard for us as well.
But with all of this good food has come lots of dishwashing and cleaning. Our last load just went in the dishwasher a little while ago. Good things come at a price.
I guess what I’ve been thinking about is that our Christmas this year is just a slice of life. It’s the joy of family being together sharing food and each other, but also the challenges that this life brings. Part of it’s fun, and part of it’s hassle, and part of it’s just plain work.
But as I think over the past few days, what I choose to dwell on are not the challenges, not the hassle, not the work. I choose to dwell on the smiles, the laughter, the joy seen on the faces. I’ve captured many of those digitally, even more through the camera of my mind. And I’ll replay them again and again in coming days.
I hope your memories of this Christmas are also ones of joy!