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Christmas Joy Is Found in Traditions Both Old And New
C hristmas came a little early for us this year. Many of you don’t know that Freckles has been struggling for the past few weeks. He’s been through a lot in his life — the big goofball has an aluminum leg. We took him into the vet a couple of weeks ago, and they were expecting him to barely make it through the doors. Everyone who works there assumed it would be his last visit and that we’d be putting him down. Instead, he walked in and made them trim his toenails. It took three of them alternating shifts to do it, and I think he made it tough for them because the doctor said he was fat. I informed the doctor that Freckles was just big-boned. After he received medication to help with the pain, we were able to take him to the mountains in the back of “Missy” (my Mini Cooper). In spite of everything, we’re going to enjoy all the time we get with him. He turns 13 in January, and who knows? Maybe he’ll surprise us all and make it to 14 or beyond. Around this time of year, I often think about what Christmas is like for other people. I love turning on Christmas music and going through the nostalgic journey of my childhood and wonder if others do the same. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,”“Jingle Bells,” and all the classics take me back to a simpler time with my family. When I hear those carols, I can see my parents and everyone gathering to have a good time. Christmas was always fantastic in our home, but not in the way that others might think. We didn’t have a lot growing up, and that made the holidays a little more special. I got shoes or clothes for presents, but since we didn’t get much throughout the year, it was always exciting to go shopping.
Our tree went up at Thanksgiving, but we didn’t have one like you see today. Those of you who grew up in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s might remember those silver pom-pom-looking trees. We hung bubble lights around the tree, and I loved to lie under the tree and watch the lights change colors. Those lights would get so hot that I’m surprised we didn’t burn the house down, but as a kid, you’re not concerned with that. You’re just caught up in the wonderment of the holidays. Family dynamics tend to change as we grow older, and that’s never more evident than during the holidays. My family is scattered about, and because of that, we don’t celebrate like we used to. Freckles can’t travel too far. My brother lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and has grandkids. My son lives about an hour and a half away. Everyone created their family traditions and made new memories, but these changes haven’t been negative. Sometimes it means Family dynamics tend to change as we grow older, and that’s never more evident than during the holidays.
we just have to let go and celebrate the fact that our families are happy. Christmas is about celebrating joy, and that starts with the birth of Jesus. I think it’s always important to remember that, so no matter how far away from family I might be, I find peace in the joy that God brings.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season! It’s a perfect way to end the year, and I’m so thankful to have shared in it with you through this newsletter. Here’s to 2019!
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