This year we had the good fortune to spend Christmas in Canadian with my parents. Due to a very busy schedule and the fact that my Mom had knee replacement surgery this year (making it very hard for her to serve as host), it had been over a year since we made it to Canadian. On a side note, in April of 2013, my parents will mark 30 years living in Canadian. Wow! Not only that, but in less than a week, Dad is going to be retiring. These are exciting times, to say the least.
Our visit was tons of fun, as always. And, as always, we were a loud and rowdy bunch. We traveled down on Saturday, December 22, which also happened to be the day that I took my turn with the stomach bug that we were passing around within our family. Fortunately, it hit me very mildly with only one “episode” occurring during our stop at the Walmart in Amarillo. On another side note, I do not consider throwing up in Walmart on the Saturday before Christmas advisable in general. Even though I was as discrete as possible and made no messes, there were several that had to ask if I was okay. A number of folks seemed to be under the impression that the person in the closed stall that was getting sick was a small child and were quite surprised to see me emerge. Unfortunately, during the midst of the event, I was unable to correct them.
After all that fun was over, we made our way to Canadian. We had a relaxing Saturday evening and joined my parents for worship at their church on Sunday morning. Sunday and Monday were beautiful days and we spent some time outdoors playing games (washers and darts). As is our usual tradition for Christmas Eve, we had all our smorgasbord of finger foods (shrimp, veggie tray, cheese and cracker tray, chips and queso, etc.) Then, we exchanged gifts to one another. This year, the First Baptist Church of Canadian began what they expect to be a continuing tradition of a candlelight service on Christmas Eve. So, after exchanging gifts and having ample time to play with our new toys, we went over to the church and paused to remember why we celebrate and give gifts during the holiday season. After the service, we wrapped up our family’s holiday tradition by singing “Happy Birthday” and eating a a birthday cake in honor of Jesus’ birth.
It’s always hard to get all the kids to bed on Christmas Eve, but we managed to get them tucked in by 10:30. Santa made his visit after they were down and by 7:30 the next morning the kids were ready to see what big gifts Santa brought them this year. Zachary got his Pogo Stick. Timothy, his Snap Circuits Extreme. Emily, her purity ring and makeup (the vanity table is being delivered to the house after Christmas). To top everything off, we got to celebrate Christmas with snow falling outside. I think this marks the second year in a row that we have had a white Christmas. Zachary did get to play out in the snow even though we left his gloves at home. It didn’t take very long for him to surrender to the cold.
On the day after Christmas, we visited Granny Brown in her new digs at the Texan Nursing Home in Amarillo. She looked great and is very involved in all of their activities there. Afterwards, we got to go see Gran and O’Grandad. As they put it, they’re still getting by. They all remind us of the fact that it is no fun getting old but I’m always glad to get to see them and I know that in spite of all the noise and turmoil we bring along with us, they love seeing the kiddos.
All in all, it’s been a great holiday season and the good news is that it isn’t over yet. We have Lori’s family coming to visit this weekend! Thankfully, we’ll have a day or two to decompress and get the house ready for visitors. I still think that the holidays are going to end to soon but I have nothing to complain about at this point. God is good to us, much better than we deserve. We give Him credit for keeping us safe and blessing us with such a great family.