It’s a very different holiday season this year than last.
Last year I lit the candles for Hannukah and recited the blessings with our daughters echoing the words back. Michael made latkes for us all and we sang our slightly mangled versions of the Dreidle song and other Hannukah favorites. We ate chocolate coins—not the wrappers—and watched the candles burn down low. It was good.
Last year and all the years before, Dusty, Bonnie, and Shannon chased each other all over the Christmas tree lot at Valley College while I tried to find some kind of deal on some little scrawny pine branch for $40. Breathless and laughing they finally returned to Michael and me. And we managed the “branch” into the back of the car and drove it home.
I put the kettle on for hot chocolate and whipped cream—and ok—even marshmallows for those who have a special place in their hearts for that particularly peculiar food item.
We pulled out the box of decorations—ornaments given from many different people over many years. Some of the glass angel wings were broken (we haven’t always been as careful as some with our decorations) but everyone took a shot at hanging ornaments. Even Michael found a couple branches suitable for his baseball themed decorations. Afterward, I strung the lights.
We hunted down the Christmas story with the beautiful pictures and read Luke’s account of Jesus coming to earth Christmas morning as we sipped yet another round of cocoa and/or tea with some of our friends while we were still in pajamas and blankets. It was good.
I will miss what was very much!
There is no denying. But as Solomon says, there is a time for everything. Dusty Rose Tsalkova will be celebrating in Texas this year, with her husband, Sergey Tsalkov. And Bonnie Joy O’Connor will be experiencing the delights and dangers of snow in the suburbs of Pittsburgh under the generous roof of Bob and Marie Huber.
And Michael and I and Shannon will be here in North Hollywood, making hot chocolate—or hot lemonade, if some of us are still sick with the traditional O’Connor winter cold.We will pull out the ornaments and lights for a little piece of tree and tell the story to each other and remember how good God has been to us this year—and every year!!! How grateful we are for His goodness, for the gift of life and love—and hope. It is good.
God bless you, my friends!!