Gratitude Day 375

Sat., Dec. 14, 2019

Luke 2:19: But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 

Today, I want to drink in the sights and sounds of Christmas. And I want to treasure them all.

We will be celebrating Christmas with my Deaton family today. For several years, we have celebrated Christmas with the Deaton’s a couple weeks before Christmas. This way, we CAN all be together. And we love it.

Over the years, we’ve developed a few fun traditions. We will have the Deaton white elephant gift exchange. Rather than buying gifts, I put together gifts that reflect our family. These are things from our parents and our grandparents and my childhood. Some of these things are fun. Some are silly. Some are very popular. Others – not so much. We do this because it’s a great opportunity to remember our family. We tell stories and while versions maybe slightly different, it’s OK. It just allows us to laugh and share together. The sight of people opening these gifts, wondering what they opened and if they REALLY want these items is priceless.

We take turns organizing a craft for the kids to do. Sometimes, the big kids may do the craft as well. Just another fun way to see each other spend time together.

Of course, we’ll have a meal together. Maybe play cards. Catch up. Laugh. Smile.

I have a new little surprise this year. Going through my Mom’s things, I found some old slides and plan on having a little slide show. Maybe it will be more interesting for some than others. And it’s really OK.

I realized last night that I forgot a couple things at our house. But the day will go on. The sights, the sounds … they will make for a very special day.

Quite honestly, the Deaton Christmas is the ONLY day we are ALL TOGETHER. Seven years ago, it was the last time we were all together with my dad. We knew his time was short … and so did he. He didn’t feel well that day and it was an emotional afternoon. Two years ago, it was the last time we were all together with my mom. She fell the day before the Deaton Christmas and within days, was on Hospice.

Rather than look at these days and be sad, I choose to celebrate that we had these special days with our parents shortly before they passed away. The sights and sounds of those Christmas celebrations are so important to me.

Yes, it’s a mere 14 days before Christmas Eve. I know there is always a lot going on this time of the year. But PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. Slow down. Take in the sights and sounds of the Christmas season. So, what if that one last batch of cookies doesn’t get baked? It’s OK. The cards don’t get sent out until January or are only posted on a social media account? It’s really OK. Take a drive and look at the lights. Go Christmas caroling. Watch a favorite movie. Spend less time shopping and more time creating special sights and sounds of Christmas memories that you WILL treasure way beyond whatever gift that didn’t get wrapped and put under the tree.

For your Christmas listening pleasure, click here and let you ears receive a wonderful bouquet of music:

For a day filled with sights and sounds of Christmas as we celebrate with family today, I am grateful.

Dear God – rather than anticipating Christmas like a firehose that blasts life, may we treasure the smallest and best Christmas sights and sounds. Challenge us to grasp the smallest things that make our Christmas special this year. Amen.  

Blessings –


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