In the past year we have lost numerous people that we love, including two of my dad's sisters, the last two of my mom's siblings, and many other friends and relatives. I guess this is to be expected as we get older but it is still always so hard to let them go.
Today I was going to try to post something uplifting and cheerful - I should never have re-read my last post as now I am sniffling as all these tender feeling rush back in. I sure miss my mom and my brother, and those others who have gone on, expecially at this time of year. Mom was a great lover of holidays and always made Christmas special with lots of homemade goodies and gifts. I treasure the crocheted doilies and other things she made for me through the years. What special heirlooms they are now.
I thought I might give a little update on us. Our oldest daughter is actually visiting this week from California. We love having her here and wish she lived closer so we could visit back and forth more often. Our tree is up. All of the kids and grandkids except our son's family were here on the weekend for dinner and the grandkids decorated the tree for us. It looks beautiful and it was fun to see which of that huge stash of ornaments we have collected through the years they chose to put on the tree. A great deal of them are the handmade ones, not the fancy store bought items. Even the little children seem to be drawn to those things that have been made with loving hands. I think it says something about how they are being raised that they are not just drawn to the commercial side of things.
Our daughter and her children who has been with us this past year seem to be doing better now that the divorce is final and they can get on with life. It has helped that "he" is now living out of state and is not daily causing contention and drama, although "he" seems to have found a way to continue do that via telephone. It has been a rough year for them, and for all of us as we tried to help in whatever way we can. We love our grandchildren, and we grateful that we were able to have them safe here with us this year but I know that it is hard for everyone to have multiple generations in one house and they kids suffer from too many adults telling them what to do, so it is good that they now have their own home and can be a little family unit of their own once again.
We all went to their home for Thanksgiving dinner via a special invitation from the children. It was the first time they have ever been able to be the host for such an occasion and they were so excited. Our little granddaughter age 7 was so thrilled to be having everyone to their house that she made individual Thank You cards for everyone thanking them for coming. I thought that was so special. She is such a sweetheart! It was a lovely day and we enjoyed it immensely.
With the approaching Christmas season I know everyone is too busy, life is too hectic, and sometimes overwhelming. We take on too much, think we have to do everything and wear ourselves too thin. It is not good.
In the midst of all of this, I challenge you to stop, take a deep breath and think of all the blessings you enjoy. I am grateful for just being alive. I am grateful to have a family that I love and that love me. I am grateful that the Savior came into the world to save us all. I am grateful that our prayers are heard and that we have a Heavenly Father who wants only for us to be happy and to live so that we might be able to return to Him. I am grateful that we have the process of repentance and forgiveness and the atonement of Christ for us so that we can move past our mistakes. I am grateful for the Christmas season that softens hearts and reminds us all that we can do better, we can love our neighbor, we can reach out to those around us in even small ways, we can lift one another in so many ways. It costs us so little to do so.
Have you noticed that as a rule, most people are more friendly, more helpful, more caring even in the hustle and bustle of shopping and such. I have and I love it. I love the sounds of Christmas. It is wonderful to see and hear people exchanging greetings of Merry Christmas. I love the music that is all around us. I love hearing the excited voices of little children as they delight in the beauty of the Christmas trees, and new fallen snow, and seeing Santa. And I ABSOLUTELY LOVE it when my little grandchild says, "It is Jesus's birthday, you know, Gramma. That is why we have Christmas."
Yes, Sweetheart is certainly is why we have Christmas. I hope you never forget that. And so I wish a very Merry Christmas to all of you, and I hope you have a blessed new year.