What Does Christmas Mean to You?

I am in Canada with my oldest daughter, Veronika, and my granddaughter, Eliora as I am writing this. My youngest daughter, Natasha, is also here with us. Unfortunately, my husband, Bill, could not get the time off to be with us.

Christmas will be different for all of us this year. Although, Christmas changed dramatically when I made the decision to leave my, now ex-husband of thirty plus years in 2013. We did manage to share Christmas together with the entire family (son, Peter and daughter-in-law, Carol included) in 2013. Then the following years, the children did Christmas with their father and then did either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with me.

Veronika and Eliora will be leaving December 23rd to meet Veronika’s husband, Joe, in the Netherlands and they will be celebrating Christmas in the Netherlands. Peter and Carol can only get Christmas Day off from their work schedule. Bill is only able to get Christmas Day off as well. I decided to come up to Canada prior to the 23rd so I could get some time with Veronika and Eliora. Natasha has a break from her college program and is in Canada with us. Peter and Carol did take a long weekend and we all managed to get together with my parents and had a small Christmas exchange.

Veronika, Eliora, Natasha and I also got together with very close family friends last weekend for a Christmas celebration. My parents and brother were also there. It was wonderful to see everyone and be with the babies.

My daughter-in-law Carol, is not happy that she only has Christmas day off and is pretty depressed that she can’t be with family. I suggested, to my son, that they help out at a homeless shelter and he is looking into that. Natasha is going to be with her brother and sister-in-law for the week. I wish I could be with my son and his wife Christmas Day but the drive back and forth is not comfortable for us. I want to be with Bill. I have invited Bill’s sisters, brothers-in-law and nieces and nephews over for Christmas cheer.

But I will not have my children with me for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I am still not sure how I will feel about that. I am grateful that I could spend time with my parents and the children when I could. Family time is what Christmas means for me. This is my favorite time of year.

Yes, it also means the birth of Jesus and that is important to me. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son to us. We have watched many nativity stories and I have cried over all of them. This is the greatest gift of all. For all the Christmas wish lists that everyone makes up, the giving is more important to me than the receiving. So when God gave us Jesus, I can only imagine the depth of love God has for us. This is what Christmas means to me.

Joseph, What Did You Think?

I wrote this poem several years ago when I heard the song, “Mary, Did You Know?” I love this song. Then I thought about Joseph and what his thoughts might be.

Joseph, What did you think

 

Joseph, what did you think

When you discovered what they were saying about Mary

What did you feel

When you thought she was to be yours

Only to hear that she may have broken your trust

You were to be her protector

You were planning a future with this woman

Who was not what you thought she should be

Were you angry and filled with sadness

Over a future that would no longer be

How your heart must have ached

Then what did you think

When that angel came to you

And let you know that out of all women

Mary had been chosen to be the one

How did you feel knowing what was to be

What did you think

When others scorned you and ridiculed the situation

Not having the same faith and trust

That you and  Mary now had

The steps you had to take each day wondering

Then what did you think as the months went on

Watching Mary’s belly grow with a child

Not yours, not hers

Nor would it ever be

You and Mary being human

And this child was the son of God

Did you wonder what you could teach this child

Did you ever wonder what would this child think of you

Did you dream of what you could do for this baby

Did you wonder how you would protect Him

Was there fear, was there even a little bit of anger

That your lives had been so changed

Or could you think about how so much would change

With this one small child

Was your faith that strong and sure

When you finally held the son of God in yours arms

What did you think?