Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas 2011

It's January 3, 2012. I went back to work today after being on vacation for 10 days. Craig is back to work too, and Carrie and Mardo have flown back to Guatemala. It is hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone, but it really was a wonderful Christmas.

Here are some of my favorite memories of Christmas 2011.

Our three days of Christmas - the first with Craig's family. It was so much fun to have his family over for supper. I will remember:
  • watching Julia and Lillian to Irish dances, and try to speak spanish with Mardo
  • Heather's snowman cheese ball and Mom's pretzel salad
  • conversation with Rick and Lynn, and the beautiful jigsaw puzzle they gave to us
  • seeing our kids, now grown up, talking with the others here
  • playing spoons and cutthroat Uno with the kids and laughing and laughing
Our second day of Christmas was spent with friends. A teacher from my school, and her family, came over for chicken and ribs. I will remember:
  • how Craig took time to talk with each person in Kim's family, finding out what they are passionate about and asking questions
  • playing Catch Phrase with Kim's family, and how no one wanted to be holding the game when the buzzer went off
  • watching Carrie, Mardo, Aaron and Kim's kids play Scattegories and arguing, good-naturedly of course, about what answers were acceptable
Our third Christmas, on Christmas Day was filled with our family. Our son, daughter-in-law and grandkids came up from Northfield to spend the day. I will remember:
  • the dining room table stretched to the max, with another table added so that everyone could fit
  • Craig's head bent down to hear what Andrew had to say during dinner
  • Andrew, Izzy and Jake gathered round the table to help us put together table favors for the people in Grandpa Virg's former apartment building. As they worked they sang Christmas songs, and there wasn't a sweeter sound during Christmas than those little voices.
  • the presents surrounding the Christmas tree, symbols of our family's love for one another. The gifts were picked out with such care and much thought, and the givers had as much fun watching as the ones who were opening the gifts.
  • more games and laughter, and hugs all around
But the memories don't start or stop with Christmas. There are others:
  • the concert Carrie, Mardo and I attended at the U of MN
  • Brenton and Jeff's hockey game
  • cooking and crafting with Carrie
  • watching Jake, Drew and Izzy at the swimming pool with Carrie and Mardo
  • going bowling with Aaron, Jeff, Craig, Mardo and Carrie
  • watching Mardo and Craig throw a boomerang while the grandkids played at the park
  • being at the cabin for New Year's Eve - and watching fireworks up in Outing, MN
  • shopping with Carrie - the Buffalo shops, Target and Barnes and Noble, trying on clothes together at Kohl's, and more
  • devotions each day with Craig
  • listening to Mardo play the piano
  • "Chickenfoot, chickenfoot"
All these memories and more will stay in my heart forever. Whenever I am feeling down or lonely I will pull out these memories and remember what a great Christmas season this was, how blessed I am with family, friends and more. I will be encouraged by these memories, and will look forward to more time with family and friends in the future. I will remember how much I am loved, how much I love others, and how much more God loves me.


Brenda said...

I like that it was about family and togetherness...what Christmas is supposed to be about.
Ours was very special and my go down as our favorite. But, then that'll probably change once grandkids get in the picture right?!

kris said...

It's always special to have the grandchildren there - but I have enjoyed every Christmas with my kids...when they were growing up, and now as adults. Happy New Year!