Pages

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmastime is for telling favorite family stories.  We love to sit around and reminisce about good, bad and ugly Christmases past.  We retell our parents' stories to our children ("In my day," my Mom used to tell, "we got an apple and an orange in a stocking. And we were grateful for it.") and relive our own 23 year history of Christmases together.

Case in point is the tale of Jeff's and my first Christmas.  We'd been too poor to get an engagement ring before we married, so he took me to the local jewelry chain and picked up a little diamond ring to go with my wedding band.  I knew that was my Christmas gift, but I hoped for something else under the tree.  It was our first Christmas after all! We'd been married exactly three months to the day.

Imagine my chagrin when I eagerly pulled open the wrapping of a gift he'd placed under the tree for me....
and inside was a penguin shaped ice scraper.  And inside that, a bottle of Scope.

It was something we needed.  It was on the list. He'd picked it up and thought, "Hmm, I'll just wrap this and put it under the tree."  Knucklehead!! :-D    The story lives in infamy; it's brought up every year.  He's spent the next 22 years trying to do better (and mostly succeeding! LOL  How could he not!?!).

This year's Christmas was a little different.  Thanks to the wonder of technology, we were able to open gifts with Jeff in Afghanistan by way of a Skype video call.   He had no gifts to open...in the remote village where he is stationed, there is little room for excess baggage; and whatever we send he'd have to carry on his back out of the country when he leaves.  But he joyously watched as our three children opened their treasures and we celebrated together.

Mary, from Quilt Hollow, sent me a gift specifically for Christmas morning.  A military wife herself, she knew Jeff's deployment meant very little under the tree for me.  She sent me a Willow Tree angel...the perfect touch to let me know that not only is the Lord (and the friends he's given me!!) watching over me, but the spring (and Jeff's return) is not so far away.

I'm amazed that even in these little things -- a video visit, a gift from a friend, the stories of Christmases old and new -- the LORD is faithful.   Jesus told his followers, "Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's leave (consent) and notice.  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows"  (Matthew 10:29-31 Amplified).

This is a Christmas to remember.  Will's iPod touch, Sam's cymbals for his drums, Emily's video collection of "Boy Meets World." :-D  The gift of a Savior, Christ the LORD!

And husbands and friends too marvelous for words!

Blessings!

15 comments:

Sarah Craig said...

Merry Christmas, Mary Lou! I know your best present will come in the spring.....

Hillbilly Handiworks said...

I am glad that you had a nice Christmas in spite of your hubby being gone. Isn't Skype wonderful??

Looking forward to the blessings that the New Year brings!

Shelley said...

AMEN!

Lori said...

How cool that Jeff could see his children open their gifts!? Its amazing.
What a lovely, thoughtful gift from Mary.

B-Z-Quilting said...

I am so thankful that Jeff will be returning home soon, and happy that you had a good Christmas with your children. God bless!

Crispy said...

How wonderful that Jeff was able to "be" there for Christmas. Poor guy, here he was trying to be nice so you had something to open ROFL. He never would have been able to live it down in my family either. When I was young I thought I had bought my gramma a wonderful smelling hand cream and it was actually a cream deoderant LOL.

Crispy

Emma said...

Skype is a blessing, isn't it? My parents and in-laws got to watch my husband and I open our presents even though we live in Germany.

Michelle said...

What a wonderful post...thanks so much for sharing. It's so easy to only see the negative, but we are all truly blessed, aren't we? God bless you and your family in the New Year!

Quilt Hollow said...

Sometimes the best gifts are those that arrive late. Jeff will be home in the blink of an eye...in the meantime, you keep the home fires burning. So many times in your shoes dear friend....got to love the military wife who keeps "it all" together!
Bless your heart!!

Wendy said...

Bless your heart and those of your family! May spring come quickly and be many times blessed for you! Bestest new year wishes!

Patty Sumner said...

I am not that old, but I remember the days of getting an orange and apple in socks nto stockings. Love the little angel. So glad you had a good Christmas..Blessings to you all!

Lindah said...

Mary Lou, your post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your Christmas story. And thank you to your DH and to you and the family for keeping us safe.

And thanks to the Angel of Quilt Hollow for her expression of understanding and love in sending that sweet little angel for Christmas morning.

God is Good!

Happy New Year to you and yours!
Linda

StitchinByTheLake said...

Isn't Skype a wonderful invention! I just love that your husband was able to "be there." And Mary is one of the most generous and kind hearted I've seen in the blogs I read. She has such a generous sweet spirit that I know God smiles when He thinks about her. blessings, marlene

QuiltSue said...

A set of cymbals? You're expecting it to be a quiet year in 2011 then? What a lovely gesture from Mary but I guess the best present will be your husband coming coming home in a few months.

LuAnn said...

I'm so glad that we have the technology to bring Jeff "home" for Christmas. Happy New Year to you. I know it will be when he comes home. Take care.