Christmas Time

I love the holidays. Thanksgiving is always my favorite day of the year and Christmas is a close second. This year Jessica, Joe and Noah were with us for a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. We ate a great smoked turkey, shopped, golfed and even got a new garbage disposal installed.

We’re planning to travel to Pagosa Springs for Christmas and then up to Grand Junction for New Years. We’ll be able to spend time with all of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren except for Aaron, Christine and Aria who are back in Vermont. So, my thoughts are on crowded living rooms, the opening of presents, a prime rib roast, eggnog, smiles and laughter, visits to our old church congregations in Pagosa and Junction, a winter drive over Red Mountain Pass, Christmas carols on the radio, and houses lighted up with inflated Santa Clauses and reindeer on the lawn.

Darlene got the tree and decorations out and put up in the house a few days ago. They look great. We’ve gotten quite a bit of the shopping done – mostly on Amazon. I’m already enjoying my Christmas present – a new recliner we got on a Black Friday special on an early morning drive to Albuquerque while our Thanksgiving weekend guests slept in.

Darlene’s been collecting Santa Clauses for a few years now. She adds one or two to the collection most years. I’ve been thinking about Mom’s plum pudding she used to make every year for Christmas dinner dessert. Mom’s version was so rich – decadent – I used to pile twice as much whipped cream on it as everyone else – my mouth is watering thinking about it. Jessica found her recipe in some of her old things. I have to find suet somewhere that the recipe calls for – in our modern health conscious society it’s difficult to find in grocery stores.

Remember those old porcelain Christmas trees that everyone had that were a rage back in ancient history. We had one that Darlene’s Mom and Dad made for us years and years ago. They had a kiln and for a few years made porcelain things as a hobby long ago. It was a treasure to us, but it got broken in one of the later moves we’ve made around the country. We rescued this one from my Mom’s things when she passed. Our lives are blessed by memories of those who are no longer with us. Christmastime produces many of those memories for us.

Peace on earth and good will to men is a phrase we hear often at Christmastime. It’s associated with things said by prophets and angels and with promises and hope that is in Jesus Christ. I’m a believer in Jesus and active in a church congregation who follows Jesus. It is a good group of people. Many of my friends are either not believers or not active in religion. For them I hope the holidays are a joy just like they are for me – the Christians I know don’t desire it be an exclusive celebration – Christians only – of the holidays. I know for many of those who do not believe that the holidays are a joy. Everyone I know believes that peace on earth and good will to men would be a beautiful thing that we have experienced too little of. Regardless of situations present or the history of ways humans have treated each other – we must not let a pragmatic view of past failure in peace and good will take hold and diminish our ideals and dreams. The bustle of activity and smiles and decorations and carols and gift-giving and benevolence and anticipation of plum pudding demonstrated during the holidays are a taste of the good that can be. So, let me wish all of you peace on earth and good will – believers and non-believers – may we join in making good will and peace multiply and prosper. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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