I love Christmas. I love the trees and the lights and the wrapping paper and the music. I love the decorations we have in our home. I love giving gifts to my family.
Mainly, I just love being with my little family...Jim and our kids and their "plus ones"...and having an excuse to do nothing...or everything.
But, even after I was married and we had little kids of our own, Christmas didn't really feel like Christmas for me until I went home. To my Mom's house.
Actually, we call it "Christmas," but my big family (parents, sisters, brother, nieces and nephews) usually gets together over the New Year's holiday.
My Mom always made things so special...and it looked effortless. I don't know how she did it. It takes everything I have, PLUS Holly's help, for me to get things ready for Christmas. Not my Mom. Her house was always decorated so pretty. Growing up, we had all kinds of trees. We had the tinsel decorated tree with the big colored lights. Later, she got the tiny white lights. The last few years of her life, her Christmas tree was decorated with peach flowers and angel ornaments and all things lacy.
That was my Mom.
Her last Christmas, we came to my sister's house in Texas to celebrate. My Mom had fallen off a stage in one of her shows (she was a gospel singer, and had formed a women's ensemble that sang in churches and other events all over Oklahoma), and she had broken her foot.
Side note: ever the professional, she was helped back on stage and finished up the night...even tho her foot was swelling and she was in a lot of pain.
Because of her injury, my Dad didn't feel like she could host our family gathering that year, and so my sister, Leanne, graciously offered to do it.
We didn't know it then, but God was preparing us.
We've had our big family "Christmas" get-together at Leanne's house ever since.
I love Christmas with my family and Jim's family here in Arkansas...but now it just doesn't feel like "Christmas" is complete until we have our New Year's get-together with my big family in Texas.
"...all day long I put my hope in You." Psalm 25:5