The holiday decorations are coming down, as Santa gets packed away for another year, I am just a little sad to say goodbye to the joy and magic of the season. I sit here sipping my coffee, reflecting on the past 6 weeks or so. Marshall had neck surgery. Our son-in-law was hospitalized for close to 2 weeks. Needless to say, this year we celebrated Christmas a little differently.
The holidays this year were different. No huge tree in the picture window because Marshall was restricted to lifting 10 pounds or less. So, moving furniture and setting up the big tree was out of the question. This year several family members had specialized dietary needs due to health issues, so some of our traditional foods were not on the menu. This year we celebrated Christmas a little differently.
One Christmas tradition we hung onto was looking at holiday light displays around town. Our quest for bright lights and blows up yard ornaments took us all over the city. One of our favorite displays this year was a small downtown city park. Walking through the park was the only way to see and enjoy all the dazzling lights. We actually, visited the park more than once. On one occasion a young woman and her dog were positioned by a huge fountain in the center of the park. She was playing a violin. Her dog obediently lounging at her feet beside her open violin case. The music was beautiful and spellbinding. I fumbled to find some cash to toss in her open case. We exchanged Christmas greetings and I asked her to sign my quilt. She took the scrap of fabric while repeating over and over this is amazing!
Another highlight was in a neighborhood where block after block of homes were decked out in holiday cheer. Lights of all kinds, large and small blowups, nativity scenes, rooftop sleighs, reindeer and to top it all off an arch of lights across the street! This neighborhood welcomed families in for a closer look on foot. As we walked among the cheerful displays suddenly out of the corner of my eye what did I spy but Saint Nicholas himself! There was Santa greeting young and old alike with a smile and a candy cane! Again, we exchanged Merry Christmas Greetings and I asked Santa to sign my quilt. What a treasure to have Santa’s signature and prayer request! Oh, Santa said it was a first for him too!
This Christmas was different and challenging in many ways. This Christmas was also a time to celebrate family, friends and find the true magic of the season, sharing the love of Christ. While many long time family traditions had to be left behind this year God gave many opportunities to experience His presence as well as the best present of all a Savior born in a manger. As God gave me opportunities to meet folks and have them sign my prayer quilt once again I am humbled and in awe of these divine appointments. No matter the time of year we all need prayer. No matter the circumstances we face we can find joy and thankfulness.
Written by Susan