Christmas Morning. I’m sitting here at my farm in Mississippi. The eastern sky is breaking into the morning’s light.
My coffee cup is on my left, I’m looking out the window, watching a few leaves fall, listening to the dogs play on the front porch, thinking about Christmas Present and Christmas Past.
I feel alone, but I’m not lonely.
The Granddaughters are scattered across three states. They all are really into Christmas this year. They’re kids. By now, they’re up and playing with their new toys, opening presents from Santa and family. They are overwhelmed, I know.
Yes, they’ll get a whole lot more than they need. Yes, they’re going to be spoiled. Yes, they have no idea how lucky they are.
And, yes, I’m missing them. I wish I was there.
Last night, their Dads sat with them, by their Christmas Trees, and read “The Night Before Christmas.” Then the little girls were ushered off to bed and their own dreams of this morning.
Once upon a time, that was my job. Fathers do not know how fast time flies and what it costs to watch your family grow up.
Every Christmas back in those days, when it was finally time for bed, Sue and I corralled our three sons, turned the lights down and gathered around the Christmas tree. I read to them, taking the time to let every word, every sentence sink in, trying to get them to see what I was reading, to believe in the magic.
Last night, I know the Granddaughters put out cookies and milk for Santa. They told me they were going to put some grain out on the lawn for the reindeer. After all, Santa’s reindeer get hungry also.
The elf, Gretchen, disappeared in the midst of the night. Santa was on the way.
I miss our little boys. I miss the excitement, the energy, the looks in their eyes.
The pure wonder of Christmas Eve.
I’d give just about anything to go back to a few of those yesterdays. They’re long gone now. My sons have to balance their own checkbooks these days. I hope they never come up short.
We sat in church yesterday. The sanctuary was full. The kids couldn’t sit still for the service. We older people, we sat and thought about the meaning of Christmas, the real joy to the world and how a star in the east brought light to the darkness.
And what it means to be a Christian.
I prayed. I prayed for today, tonight and tomorrow. I asked for some comfort and a lot of support.
This has been our hardest Christmas. Some problems just can’t be fixed with money.
Driving home I thought about all for which I am grateful. I thought about all for which I am thankful. I never want to forget how lucky I’ve been, even when I thought all luck was against me.
Merry Christmas to all of you, each and every one of you all.
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