Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The sweetness of family at Christmas

Living far from half of our immediate family (adult children, grandchildren & parents), seems to leave us all typically fending off a few bittersweet emotions, particularly during this time each year.

Lovely new photos of our grandgirls,
(including viewing 3D & 4D ultrasound images
of our new granddaughter due next month)
Plus, precious artwork we will cherish forever!

And as per the usual Christmastime visiting, my parents were not with us for the first time in four years, coming instead to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with us just a few months ago, which was wonderful for all.

Thank you for the edible arrangement!

We were to be alone.

Again, for the second time since our move east.

Just the six of us, without family nearby to celebrate this special time of year with.

Gingerbread man thank you from our Grandgirl.

Pondering all these things in my heart, naturally the coming together of everyone, and love of family is one of the first things that pops up in my mind, missing them all for sure but dwelling on and remembering the sweet times together in Christmas' passed.

Now all adults themselves, they manage their own families, have their own lives and extended family commitments, therefore it hasn't been unusual in some ways as we have also adapted to having to share them over the years.

Not the most economical type of vacation to travel this time of year, and not the best weather either, none have yet to make it out this way to have Christmas here. Finer weathered months have always been much more practical for sure.

Our grandson who tells his grandfather he wants to be an artist like him someday.

No matter. We knew we would be fine.

For they are all near, in spirit, in the deep recesses of our hearts, in our devotional prayer times, and in the preciousness of sweet and memorable thoughts. And we always know we can offer them our love from afar.

Reading us all the card from Grandma and Grandpa

We knew how we would pull it all together for this season in advance, just the six of us. All were determined and encouraged to enjoy a relaxed ambiance to the days surrounding Christmas.

It just didn't quite pull together as we had initially imagined it.

You see, since we attend Midnight Mass each year, we placed a few telephone calls out there, offering our services from all six of us to somehow pay it forward on Christmas day, by helping serve dinner at a shelter.

When they announced volunteer positions filled, we called other venues serving our community, including the food bank to sort and prepare food baskets. All too were incredibly overwhelmed with so many volunteers, none were required.

This was so exciting, and I was just thrilled to hear this bit of information, similar from every venue we called in our community.

A bit disappointed for us though, but in the future we will follow the advice offered from all to call much earlier in the fall, which is something we have all jointly discussed and plan to do for next year. How perfectly wonderful to "give back" to our community and those less fortunate than ourselves.

A new friend for my hubby with thanks.

Instead, we opted to lay low at home, "size down" in the grandness of our two meals for the day, allowing for the luxury of easy simplicity to fill our day.

It certainly was tranquil around here, and a renewed family bonding offered many pleasantries throughout the hours of the day with everyone helping and sharing in unison while still acknowledging the "reason for the season".