I keep hitting the rewind button for a review of the two day Christmas celebration of 2008. Much of it is a blur - rushing around trying to locate just the right gift for that hard to buy for person, wrapping presents until 1:00 am, baking cookies, setting up tables for 16 people to eat Christmas dinner and rechecking my list over and over and still I forgot to make the tortilla roll-ups. Not to worry though my daughter took care of it! Thank goodness for adult children.
As far back as I can remember my family always attended the Christmas Eve services. This year's sermon was especially poignant as the Pastor reminded us of the importance of a hug. He talked about never having hugged his father until one visit when he had come home and walked over to greet his father, put his arms around him and began to give him a long tight hug. His father apparently didn't know what to make of it and stiffened up like a board. It reminded me of a few members in my own family, in particular my Grandfather E. My father was in the Air Force for 21 years so when we took vacation we always went to Nebraska to see my Grandparents. Grandpa E. would always extend his hand as a greeting, but I was use to hugging and I would grab his hand and put it around me and give him a big hug. This man was of the old German school and brought up not to show emotion, so hugging was just something he didn't do, however, he always hugged me hard and I could feel him not wanting to let go.
As the service continued the flood of memories over took my emotions and I sat through most of it with tears streaming down my face. You see this year my father was not sitting with us in the pew because of illness and all I could think about was that he probably will never be able to again. I had just regained my composure when the lights went out in the church and the ushers started the lighting of the candles that we each held. Softly at first the organ began with the melody of the familiar "Silent Night". The glow of the candles filled the church as the congregation quietly began singing - "Silent Night, Holy Night! All is calm, all is bright." It's my very favorite part of the service! After the service we joined my father, who was waiting for us, at home. We shared a wonderful soup supper, prepared by my sister-in-law and Mother - and enjoyed just being together.
As we approach the changing of the year to 2009 my wish for you is that you will find joy in the smallest of pleasures. I hope you will reach out and hug someone in your life that may be waiting for you to make the move or that you receive the hug you are waiting for. Take time out of your schedule to make a phone call to someone who may love just hearing your voice. I hope you will let "The Ties That Bind" make your heart light shine for all to see.........
Happy New Year and God Bless you and your loved ones!