Sunday, January 11, is our last Christmas Party for the year 2008. Really!
With all the storms and weather and scheduling conflicts, we are having our party a bit later than usual. It is kind of nice actually. Christmas is so rushed, so busy, so full. Today, we celebrate family. Mom and Dad are both gone, our home is gone, but the 9 children try to stay connected any way we can. We email often, we see each other along the way, we call, but 2 times a year, we try to come together to celebrate family.
It was not a very nice house, but it was our home. It was old, it was crowded with 11, it had no running water, no furnace, no closets, no bathroom......but it was filled with family and love!
I miss home.
We got together for Christmas Eve....always. I miss Christmas Eve.
It has become a tradition, developed along the way, to trade small gifts. Sometimes it may be an ornament, a new coffee mug filled with the makings for hot chocolate, some new bath salts or pretty scented lotion. I think it is kind of a "lady thing" as most men are not thrilled with bath salts or lotions , or ornaments, but it is fun to receive these little gifts and fun to come up with something original. My gift this year is a handmade accordian book filled with good thoughts, words and momentos....if you have followed me at all, you know I am good at momentos and lots of sap and sentiment! Anyway, I have made enough books for all my brothers and sisters. One of my favorite books has the words found in Ecclesiastes:
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war; and a time of peace.
To everything there is a season. There is the season of childhood, of rough times, but of love and happiness. There is the season of losing a father. There is the season of losing your childhood home. There is the season of losing a mother. There is the season of going on without them. There is the season of staying together. Hopefully, we will manage to gather 7 of us, with many children, grandchildren, neices and nephews, plus Mom's husband Jack, and his new wife, Dorothy, and have lots of food and lots of coffee, share some memories, share some laughs, most likely some tears, maybe sing a few songs, and treasure times together.
We love you Tom and Darese and your family in South Carolina. We love you, Susie, and all your kids and grandkids in Texas. Wish you could be with us. Your book will be in the mail.
Love you forever-Carol the Barrel