Christmas is one of the happy times that families look forward to with all its remembrances, sounds, smells and images of loved ones. Home - presence and presents are the passwords. What three words could be more important than "Home For Christmas?”
When something happens when we're sad or happy or hurting - the first thought that comes to mind is "I want to go home.”
We can't always be together at Christmas and hopefully the technology of today helps us make contact with family and friends when one can't be there in person. Even more so is being able to take the time to remember and share.
At Christmas - one remembers the trek Mary, Joseph and the baby took, which would become their gift and God’s gift to all of us. The stories of the shepherds who came - the wisemen who followed a star - all told in various forms. Because we are so "intelligent" we know the time, the climate and other events didn't all occur as we sometimes imagine them today. But that is the miracle of Christmas. The mystery of it all - tells us that Christmas is not just one day of the year. It is not just one person or place. "Home is where the heart is.” Christmas is every day. It may not be perceived as "Christmas" but it happens every day. People search and find ways to share gifts with others.
We may celebrate one day of the year as a symbol but "Christmas" is every day of the year with reason to believe in the Christ Child and to go in search of things to do in His favor.
Whatever purpose God had in bringing us together, I am grateful that He did. He has been a real source of happiness in our lives and it means more to us than we can ever say.
Once again this year as been another busy year in our lives. Between our jobs, family, church, community activities, reunions, gatherings and special events the days have ticked away much too fast.
Our grandchildren are growing up. Mallory is 12 years old and becoming quite the young lady. She is busy at school, which this year moved her to Southwest, the Albert Lea middle school. She continues to play volleyball, basketball and softball as the seasons change. She also plays softball during the summer and is the pitcher for some of her games. She also enjoys reading and is becoming quite an artist.
Morgan will soon have another birthday, her 10th, in January and is in 4th grade this year. She, like her sister, also participates in volleyball, basketball and softball. Morgan enjoys reading, writing and math, or "arithmetic,” as it was once called, and she too enjoys her art classes at school.
Mallory and Morgan also enjoy spending time in the water, swimming and water skiing, as well as go fishing and deer hunting with their dad. And if they didn't already participate in enough activities, Mallory is learning to play the piano and Morgan recently started to learn how to play the guitar.
Amelia, our little sweetheart, turned three years old in September, and loves to swim, as well as enjoys playing with her dolls. She has the greatest smile and shares it with everyone.
Our three daughters continue to live close to home. Krista lives in Rochester, Kimberly and Mike, live south of Albert Lea and Keralyn and Bill continue to live in Burnsville. We are thankful that they do find time to visit us back here at the "old homestead.”
Recently Keralyn and Amelia invited Krista, Kimberly, Mallory, Morgan and I all to Burnsville and we spent the day baking Christmas cookies. Mallory, Morgan and Amelia had a great deal of fun decorating the cookies that they made. Did you know that if you turn a heart shaped cookie "upside down" you can make it look like Santa Claus?
The First Presbyterian Church in Albert Lea continues to keep Daryl busy six days a week. They do let him off from work a day here and a day there so that he can travel Up North to the trailer so he can do a little fishing a few times a year.
During the winter months he throws the bowling ball down the lanes and has been able to record a few high scoring games on the score sheet. He also serves on the local fire department and continues to do what he can when the fire whistles blows.
The NRHEG Star Eagle, our local newspaper, keeps me busy, some days too busy, but there are many great stories I feel need to be shared. When I am not off covering stories, I spend time with my mother. We continue to enjoy our visits with good friends, but many of our old friends and relatives have been called home, and we miss them greatly, especially my mother’s sister, Helyn, or "Toody" as we called her.
We continue to share special memories and talk about what is all happening in our busy world as we put jigsaw puzzles together. I do manage to keep my cross stitch needle busy from time to time, too.
Daryl and I still enjoy time spent serving our Lord. We continue to serve on our southern Via De Cristo council - Daryl helps find churches who are willing to open their doors to host weekends here in southern Minnesota and I serve as historian. Daryl also serves on our church council too.
From family to family, from home to home, from one heart to another, the warmth and love of Christmas is a gift we give each other.
Wishing you a warm and joyous Christmas and a blessed Happy New Year!
Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements. In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us. Also if you have an idea for a story that you think would be of interest to our readers, please contact me.
This week’s birthdays and anniversaries include:
• Thursday, December 25: Merry Christmas! Mitchel Gale Evans, Krista Lee Hardyman, Tom Reitveld, Makenzie Butler
• Friday December 26: Nadine Strenge, Tom Hanson, Joshua Kasper, Jill Peterson Otterbein, Nicklas Hanson
• Saturday, December 27: Sue Bailey Billbray, Colette Hemingway Moudy, Mikkel Iverson, Jamie Hagen, Scott Christensen, Carly Titus, Stacy Osmundson Titus, Ron Peterson, Shannon Peterson Pederson, Brad Bothum, Joe Anderson
• Sunday, December 28: Hope Mikesell, Chad Toft, Tyler Titus, Charlie Marlin, Merrill Bunn, Laura and John Ortiz, Neil and Ellen Pence, Erin and John Christensen
• Monday, December 29: Maxx Greyson Richards, Maya Grace Richards, Gary Hunnicutt, Seth David Petranek, Brent Born, Craig Haberman, Darlene Underland Benjamin Paulson, Whitey and La June Hagen, Amy and Joe Louks
• Tuesday, December 30: Anita Casterton, Matt Christensen, Ryan Schrodt, Jane Simon, Jim Dobberstein, Gladys Peterson, Mark and Gail Skroch, David and Arianna Arends, Kyile and Rachel Aase
• Wednesday, December 31: New Years Eve! Bailey Joy Ihrke, Bree Olivia Ihrke, Larry Paulsen, Dean Pospesel, Lynne Flor, Brent Wiersma, Brent Worrell, Isabelle Wayne, Dorothy and Adrian Kilian, Greg and Cindy Oswald, Larry and Elaine Howell
• Thursday, January 1: Happy New Year! Ross Aronson, Jerry Seath, Larry Schwartz, Amanda Beach, Lois and Duane Aitchison
• Friday, January 2: Grace Jolie Wangen, Brian Bedney, Jay Crabtree, Mark Dobberstein, David Lageson, Brenda Wayne, Aaron Nelson, John and Lorraine Lent, Kelsey (Wayne) and Matt Duncomb
With each passing year, grow stronger, grow wiser, grow richer in spirit, May the year ahead be filled with new discoveries!
May you also celebrate the beauty of the season and may the spirit of Christmas be with you throughout the New Year!