These are my favorite Christmas gifts. Nine beautiful grandchildren under the tree. For the last several years we’ve added a new baby in the family every year or almost every year and I always take a picture of the new baby sitting in front of the Christmas tree. Grammy’s favorite gift. So this year we got all the kids to slow down long enough to take this great shot. And believe me, getting nine to sit still in the same area long enough to snap a picture is not all that easy. And then to have none of them crying – that’s plain amazing. I’ve got a picture from a long time back of my two oldest kids and their cousins and everybody but my daughter is crying. Two of the girl cousins were fighting over a stuffed bear. Another baby cousin was crying for his mama. My son was crying because he didn’t want to sit there and my daughter is staring up with these huge eyes as if wondering what the heck is going on. But you know, it’s a great shot. I smile every time I see it. Of course, I’ll smile everytime I see this one too with all these sweet faces waiting for Christmas to hurry up. That’s the magic key to getting the picture. We promised they could open presents just as soon as we got the picture. Now you know why they’re smiling.
~~We had Christmas here at the farm for the kids last Saturday for the kids. At least the two who were able to get here. The snowstorm south and east of us kept my daughter and her husband from coming. The roads were awful between here and there. We missed them, but the party went on. The WV son and family came early to get ahead of the bad weather and by the time they went home the roads were clear. They’re still playing in the snow and all we have here is mud. Plenty of that though.
~~The kids had fun playing together and tearing into their gifts. Both the little kids and the big kids. Do we every outgrow the anticipation of opening a nicely wrapped gift? One of my granddaughters has an almost Christmas birthday so we always have her birthday party first. She was four and has become a Spiderman fan. I think her favorite gift was some Spiderman pjs I went shopping in the boys’ department and bought for her. She went and put them on right away and wore them the rest of the day.
~~Then on Sunday as I was expecting to settle in to enjoy the rest of the family get-togethers with our extended families and hoping to see our daughter the weekend after Christmas for a late celebration, things started going haywire. Darrell came in from one of the Patriots’ concerts with a stomach bug Sunday and was yuckily sick all night. A granddaughter and daughter-in-law came down with it at about the same time. On the news Monday morning, I heard that my preacher’s son’s apartment was destroyed by fire. They got out with nothing but what they had on. Then later in the day we got the worst news. Our little great niece, Kaelyn, was diagnosed with leukemia. Suddenly stomach bugs seemed pretty minor. Kaelyn is a beautiful little girl, five years old, who has an active imagination and a sweet spirit. She’s already starting aggressive chemo treatments at St. Jude’s. And hundreds of people are praying for her. How quickly we were all reminded of what matters most in life.
~~I hope you each and everyone can celebrate the joy in your life on Christmas morning as you rejoice in the birth of the Savior. That is something that always matters and when you believe that, you never face hard times alone. Merry Christmas to you and yours.