Many of you know that our family said goodbye to our dad, granddad, great-granddad, husband, uncle, and brother this past July. This was the first holiday season without him. First Thanksgiving and now Christmas, Daddy was missed. Daddy was fixture in our family and at every holiday gathering. This is usually how we found him.
The type of camera has changed over the years; from an 8 mm camera which blinded you (but still he would say "look at the camera!" and all we saw were spots), to the digital wonder you see before you, he felt it his personal duty to be the one to record our family history.
Daddy liked to talk politics and so every get together, even visits, you had to be well versed in current events. Regardless of how much you thought you knew, You would still walk away having learned something you never knew or never thought of before. Daddy was a walking encyclopedia and/or history book. "Well read" would be an understatement.
Daddy was big on quality control when it came to Christmas cookies, especially the cut out Christmas cookies. He knew he never had to worry. Mama knows cookies of all types. She definitely knows her way around an oven. He did, however use quality control as a good excuse for snagging a few.
We gathered this year and managed to have two successful holidays. We laughed, joked, opened gifts, hugged and just enjoyed being together. But it was weird. It's the best way to describe it. There were no political discussions. People took their own pictures, but there wasn't the hiding from the roving camera.
I missed a bear hug. Daddy gave great hugs. He was so big, he could just wrap you up.
We laughed, but the heartiest laugh over all was absent...for now.
What there was, though, love, family, and togetherness. Above all of that was Hope. There was something missing from the festivities this year...Daddy. But we celebrated, regardless, because we have hope. Hope given by a baby in a manger who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. One day we will have another Christmas celebration with all of those who have gone on before us, and I will hear that laughter and receive that hug again.
I say all of this to point out, good or bad, happy or sad, Christmas is Christmas. Not because of the gifts, songs, cards, or even people celebrating. Christmas is Christmas because of Christ. This year was hard, but possible because Christ is still Lord. Christ still chose to come. So we celebrate. I hope this Christmas finds you well. Thank you for all of your support this year and previous years. I wish for you the Merriest Christmas and the Happiest new year..