I am sitting at home thinking about Christmas past and it was significantly different than what I see my children and grandchildren experiencing today. I grew up in a family that was poor, at least our Dad convinced us we were but we were less poor than many of our cousins and friends in the neighborhood. Christmas for us was being in the church performance as some member of the nativity. We had to learn songs and presentations and bible verses. Christmas eve was always church and we received a bag with a candy cane, hard candy and mixed nuts(not the kind that are shelled). Christmas morning was one present, something we had wished for all year, and a stocking filled with an apple, an orange and once again mixeed nuts. There were no ipads or computers, we played in the snow, visited cousins, aunts, uncles and grandpa and grandmas. Our play was outside in the snow with a sled or ice skates. Christmas eve was at Grandpa and Grandma Sanborn’s usually with Alaskan King Crab and Midnight Mass. Christmas day was home in the morning and then off to Foxhome to be with all my mom’s family. It was incredible and we usually had to perform a song and gifts were exchanged. We drew names and set a limit but the gifts were somehow always amazing.
Christmas for my children will be a cruise with my oldest son’s wifes family and her brother’s family. Then they will spend Christmas at home for the first time in many years. Usually they spent it with me in Orlando but the grandchildren are getting older and wanted to be home. I will drive up for Christmas morning. I’ll be working from the 14-24th in Miami so a bit of a drive. Presents for them are many and of course a very special large one from Santa. My Indiana son, youngest, his wife and daughter will spend Christmas at his home and leave the next day to drive to Orlando to spend a week with me. I am sure we will have some Park adventures while they are here.
So what does Christmas mean to me. An opportunity to spend time with family and yes, I still attend church. I still enjoy the mixed nuts even though I have to shell them, and I am incredibly grateful that my children and their children have good lives and wonderful families. Is there any better Christmas than that? Yes, friends, extended family though far away, an older sister I love dearly and just thankful for each day I look down and my feet are above ground. Life is good, Christmas is different but the love and caring will never change.