Christmas just hasn't been the same for the last several years. All of our family traditions have changed. During my childhood and most of my adult life, we would get together at my Grandmother's for dinner at noon. There would be all the usual favorites as well as a few seasonal ones. Grandmother's applesauce cake was one of those favorites. There would also be fresh homemade biscuits. My brother and I were talking and he marveled at how grandmother and our Mom made great biscuit but they were flat. He had no idea that they spread the dough then so that it would go farther. (The picture is from the mid 70s at our grandmother's house. I am the little girl up front in the very middle.)
Our last normal Christmas was in 2004. Mom died the day after Christmas in 2005 from cancer. We lost grandmother in 2007 and now I lost Mike this year. There's been a lot of loss in the last several years, which have resulted in a lot of changing traditions.
My brother found Jim Reeves 12 Songs of Christmas on Amazon the other day. It was our mother's favorite Christmas music. I can remember looking at the album cover with Jim Reeve's smiling face and a huge Christmas wreath behind him.
This morning I have the day off. We are getting together with our Mom's side of the family this evening. I made grandmother's applesauce cake. It is now cooling in the kitchen waiting for me to come add the final touch to it.
My husband, Mike was not a big reader. I am. In the movie, The Lake House, a mother is talking to her daughter. The daughter asks why is she carrying around one of the father's books. She said it makes me feel good to be on the same page that he once was. There was a book that Mike was always after me to read, The Godward Gaze by Steve McVey. It meant so much to him. I went through several boxes to locate it, but I found it. And it is true, it does give me comfort to be reading the same pages he once did.
For all those who are grieving or just feel lost, find something that comforts you. And remember Christmas isn't about the commercialism, it is about the birth of Christ. I encourage you to read the story. If reading isn't your thing then rent The Nativity Story. It is a great movie. I wish you all a Merry Christmas.