The Best Christmas Gift

December 25, 1985 Christopher 3 days old

December 25, 1982
Christopher 3 days old

My experience has been the best gifts are those you wish a long time for. We had hoped to become parents for three years before our first born, and only son, joined our family December 22,1982.

I remember the doctor coming into the delivery room whistling Christmas carols. He teased me that my timing was terrible — I had interrupted his family’s Christmas party.

“I’ve waited a long time for this baby! Now is the perfect time,” I said.  “I can’t think of a better Christmas gift.”

I related to the Christmas Story that year more than before. How did Mary ride that donkey being great with child? I literally felt her discomfort.

It was hard enough to deliver a baby in a sterile hospital with Mark, a doctor and nurses there to comfort and assist me. How dreadful the situation must have been for Mary, to deliver a baby in a stable with only Joseph there. Angels must have been sent to assist and comfort, but still, what a grim place to deliver a baby. The smell and the dirt along with the noises from the animals could only intensify the stress and worry of the delivery.

I can’t think of a better way to feel the true joy of Christmas other than bringing a baby of our own into the world. What’s more precious than the gift of a child? We learn so much from them and they are a gift that keeps on giving. Usually, they give joy and happiness, and when they don’t—we are growing and learning how to be better parents and how to love unconditionally—the way Christ loves us.

For several months we talked about the perfect name for our child who was going to be a Christmas baby. Christopher, meaning “Christ-like” or “steadfast for Christ”, was our perfect choice.

Since 1982, Christmas has been double the pleasure.

Mark & Chris 1982  1989 Building Dino

1991 Pinewood Derby  1st place trophyChildhood Highlights

1994 Comic Strip

1991, Pinewood Derby car wins 1st place.

1992, Comic is published in newspaper.

We appreciate Christopher’s artistic, musical, & handyman gifts.

2013 Christopher playing at Sun & Moon

2013 Christopher playing at Sun & Moon

2013 Christopher playing at the Farmer's Market

Happy Birthday to a wonderful son!

A Joyful Season

Christmas @ 19 yrs old

1978 -Barbara and Santa Claus

It seems I can’t get through the month of December without getting sick.  I blame it on weather changing, lack of sleep, and the added stress. In past years I usually catch some sickly bug at the end of the month. Not this year, bronchitis hit me on the first day of December.

In my business life, I am an account manager for Earthwork Property Management, and I manage 560 property accounts. December is the busiest month of the year—wrapping up those loose ends while planning and preparing and for a new year.

In my personal life, I wear many more hats. I won’t bore you with the long list, but I’m sure it’s similar to yours. This December, we have the added blessing of health insurance issues to deal with. In our house that means two health insurance plans to research and decide on. Because of Mark’s disability he has Medicare and I have an individual plan, so double the work.

Add Christmas to this mix, with all the decorating in and outside, extra baking and cooking, cards to write and send, extra shopping for food and gifts and then wrapping them all up to look nice for someone special.

There are all sorts of ideas on how to survive the holidays. I don’t want to survive them, I want to enjoy them! There is so much to do and see. I don’t want to miss out on any of it. Christmas is the holiday most of us look forward to all year. As a child on Christmas night, I remember thinking how hard it was going to be to wait— a whole 365 days— until the next Christmas. I also recall on June 25th thinking, yeah, we’re half way there! Time moved much slower then.

First Christmas together-before marriage

First Christmas together-before marriage

Now time passes much too quickly, and every year it seems to fly by even faster. There just aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done. December often feels like a society race to get everything done before the 25th. I love Christmas, for the reason that it is the day set to celebrate Christ’s birth. It brings a magical feeling to my soul. I enjoy all the activities that are associated with it, so much that I try to do them all. That’s when it gets overwhelming and becomes difficult to focus on the reason for this most celebrated day.

My wish for this Christmas was for life to slow down. I wanted to relish Christmas like I did when I was younger. Enjoy every minute of the season with all the celebration and no stress.  I know, a far-fetched wish.

So I’ve got bronchitis and I’ve slowed down.  I’ve already missed a couple of scheduled Christmas activities, which lessened stress but added disappointment. Yes, I’ve slowed down, but the rest of the world around me hasn’t, and I’m not looking forward to the catch up.