Thursday, December 16, 2010

CHRISTMAS: Rituals change -- Love Does Not!

Every year our celebrations are growing more and more different. Traditions, rituals, constantly change.   Last Year was a gigantic celebration in Branson.  There were weeks of planning, a photo shoot in November so the grandkids could make presents for their parents and then four rooms reserved at the Savannah House so we could party together.

But even before Branson, last year Ken and I took a trip East to visit family.  We visited with Bill and the Eller family in Greenville.
Bill had lost his Millie last year so we visited Millie's resting place.
It was good to see my sister, Bonnie and some of her girls. 
We also visited with Sarah in Ellicott City who had lost her husband, Scott last year. 
We put out Christmas greenery at Scott's resting place. 
And of course, we visited Asheville before Christmas last year.
Kirk and Jennifer were able to join us for Thanksgiving with their girls, Megan and Allie. 
The Gingerbread House contest was an introduction to Christmas for us. 

This year brought changes for all of us....... Ken with a serious illness and families without work.  A tight economy and a heap of stress added to the changes in how we celebrated this Christmas season.  Yet, through it all we are definitely victorious.   There were no trips this year until September when we finally got to drive East to visit family.   We visited with Bill and his new wife Nell in Greenville, SC.
And we drove to Barnwell to visit Bonnie and Jim Eller. 
And the  remainder of the week was with grandchildren in Asheville. 

We are strong, we are well, and our faith is totally in  the abundance of a loving Heavenly Father and Savour Jesus Christ for which we celebrate His gift of Life.
I found evidence of a beautiful Christmas Photo Shoot on Facebook of Joel, Jennifer, Blakely and Sydney.  They are so beautiful and it warms my heart to see them so happy with one another.  What greater gift than the love of our children, our siblings and those who love us.  And what greater gift can we give to God than to love HIM for He is love divine.  It is Christ who teaches us love.
Blakely ONeal 
Sydney ONeal 
So this year Paula and Sarah, my precious sisters are celebrating together in Ellicott City for a month.  I love it when family gather together. 
And Hailey had a Christmas program which I attended along with Kayla and Susie.

And there was one freezing evening that Ken and I were able to take some of the grandkids to Camp Dry Gulch for the church Christmas Train event.  Even this was a different experience from when the children were younger.  Instead of Santa Clause and Pony Rides, it was grown to bumper cars and go karts.

And from hamburgers to BBQ ribs and brisket. 
The one thing that has not changed is the freezing cold that blows off of Lake Hudson.   Here we are waiting to board the Christmas Train which tells the story of Christmas beginning with God creation of the earth and man.     Let us never forget the true meaning of Christ's Birth and the Love it brings into our lives.
The Nativity, the Star that guides us, the gifts we bring to our Christ. 
A symbol of Christmas, the Christmas Cactus. 
And then joy or joys, we received the Collier Family Christmas Eve photo in their ps's.  I love it!
There is even more about our Christmas on the Grandkids blog.

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