Merry Christmas to all!
Our neighborhood is really decorated for Christmas this year. It looks really nice.
2009 has been the fastest year ever, but then I think I say that every year.
With Christmas Eve here already, we are never quite ready for it but it comes anyway.
The best and most important thing for me is to have our family all together. Children, grand children and great grandchildren make a full house, but that’s OK. It’s amazing to me that so many of our family live close by and we feel really blessed. The only ones not coming are our grandson Ryan, who is in the National Guard and stationed in Egypt, and our granddaughter, Erin, and her husband and son, who live in Milwaukee.
It has been a busy two weeks with Christmas parties, being involved with bell-ringing for the Salvation Army and helping with many other wonderful volunteers making preparations and packaging boxes for the families that benefit from the Mayor’s Christmas Tree.
During the bell-ringing it is fun for me to meet the people and watch the children’s reaction when they put money in the “red kettle.” They feel so good about knowing that what they give helps the needy.
All families have their own traditions and they are all a little different. Seeing the homes decorated with lights and the beautiful Christmas tree in the front window gives me a feeling of warmth.
When I was a kid I have a vivid memory of families putting an electric red candle centered in a green wreath in every window. I still see it now occasionally, and I think it is really special.
Another tradition over the years is fruit cake. They lasted a long time and could be taken on trips without the worry that they would spoil and were mostly given as gifts.
Christmas caroling is fun, too. It is great to hear the old traditional Christmas songs on the radio.
Our family always looked forward to the children’s program at our church, and especially Midnight Mass was special for us. It is great to see all the churches lit up and the manger scenes on display. That is really what Christmas is all about.
We wish every one of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and a Healthy Peaceful New Year.