Today is Thankful Thursday and to tell you the truth I was going to skip it this week as I have been soo busy and soo behind. But this morning as I read some of the other posts I found myself inspired to write what has been on my heart as well. You can find the other wonderful blogs HERE...Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and read as many as you can. You will be soo glad you did.
As I wrote about in a previous post, we are going to do Christmas a little differently this year. My daughter Melody lives in New Mexico with her husband Mike, and is not coming for Christmas. Her husband is a dairy farmer. This is a 7 day a week job, and between he and his father, one family member pretty much has to be there everyday to both oversee everything, and to just be there to solve any problems that might arise. I've learned soo much about what is involved in this business that truthfully NEVER occured to me before. I never went much past the reality of driving to the store for a gallon of milk, or a some wonderful cheese. But that's another post, haha...Anyway, Mike's father is coming to California this year as his father is not doing well at all, so Mike and Melody will have to remain at home. It was to be pretty much the first Christmas EVER that we were not all together. Now, Melody is coming by herself for 3 days the week-end before Christmas, so that she can spend a little time with all of us for the season. I've been soo busy feeling sorry for myself that she wasn't coming this year, that I missed the blessing that she will be here AT ALL in Dec. Once my sons (she has 3 big brothers) heard that she was coming for a brief visit, they completely forgot their disappointment that she wouldn't be here for Christmas Day, and began to make other plans. The next thing I knew our Christmas had been changed to the 19th. My youngest son is coming up from San Diego with his family to spend the entire week-end with us as well. My middle son will be here too for the entire week-end. And my oldest son lives 5 minutes away with his whole family. We will not only be able to have our Christmas dinner and gift exchange together as we always have in the past, we will have MUCH more time to enjoy being together as well. The little ones will not be exhausted as they usually are from their early morning Christmas morning excitement either. We are planning on decorating Christmas cookies and making a gingerbread house, which there would have never been time to do together in the past. For years and years at our house (when our kids were older anyway) we have always had the tradition on Christmas Eve of going to church together, and then having dinner and getting into our PJ's for one gift, and then we would make hot chocolate and watch George C. Scott's A Christmas Carol together. For the last few years it has just been Jeff and I and Melody, but this year we are planning on putting all the little ones to bed, and then watching this wonderful movie together again. I am soo excited to revive this old tradition. The next day we will go to my sister's house for our annual extended family Christmas celebration with all their aunts and uncles and cousins. Melody will leave for home the next morning in plenty of time to get home to her husband to make new memories and traditions with him for Christmas. On Christmas Eve this year we have decided to travel down to San Diego and spend the day with my youngest son's family and go to church with them and then have dinner over there. Something we have never been able to do in the past as I have always had so much to do for Christmas the next day and we were going to be getting together then anyway. I am looking forward to this new plan MUCH more than I ever thought I might be. The kids will be soo excited. I am not sure what we will do Christmas Day. Maybe not much of anything at all. Who knows, sleep in and relax the day away. But today I am grateful for memories. Not only for all the old ones I have been busy remembering these last couple of weeks as I have been pulling out my decorations and going about the various different Christmas rituals we have always enjoyed, but for all the new ones that are sure to come as we again gather together to celebrate the birth of our Savior. I have been soo blessed this year and cherish the memories He has given to me. I pray I never forget them, but more importantly that I never forget to be thankful.