Friday, December 24, 2004

December 24th, 2004

It's very slow in my office today. The phones aren't ringing much. Many of our customers are closing early to spend time with their families, wrap presents, or maybe even do some last minute Christmas shopping. That reminds me... I haven't wrapped a single present myself. I guess I better do that soon.

I noticed when I came in this morning that the counters in the front office were already filled with goodies. Cookies, chocolates and candy will be dessert after a lunch buffet prepared by my employees. They are a wonderful bunch and I am grateful to have such a great team working with me.

Tonight, along with my brother Alfred and his son Jessiah, I will perform a song in the church attended by my brother and his family. We will be celebrating Christmas, the birth of Christ. That's what this holiday is all about. I may not be religious myself, but I think it is foolish to forget the origins of the celebration. Don't believe in Christ? What about 'Peace on earth and goodwill towards men,' -- can you believe in that? That is also what Christmas is about.

As we perform tonight, I will be thinking of my parents. My mother was always the glue that held our extended family together. Every Christmas, we all got together at my parents' tiny home. It was mayhem; delightful mayhem. There was talk, singing, good German baking thanks to my mother and my sister, and lots of good cheer. It was the one time of the year that I could count on seeing my brother and sister and their families, all together in one place. My father, always a quiet man, looked on. Although he never said much, we always knew he loved us all and was proud of us.

My mother taught my brother and me the song we will be performing tonight. We learned the song from her over forty-five years ago. It is a German song she had learned as a child. The English title, roughly translated might be 'Heavenbound.'

My parents are gone physically, but they live on in our hearts and memories.

I will be enjoying my family and friends over Christmas and wish the very best to all of you and your families.

Merry Christmas!


  1. The spirit of Christmas, no matter what your religious affiliation, belief, or lack of belief is, becomes the spirit of sharing, loving, forgiving and appreciating.

    How blessed you were to grow up in such a rich environment. For you, the roots of a wonderful family home are deeply embedded in your personal history. Having an extended family reunite at this season is well worth celebrating Christmas, no matter what your faith involves. For those who don't have that extended family physically nearby, there is a challenge.

    For the first time in many years, members of my extended family were not able to join us. It was last minute news, and although the reasons were quite legitimate and rational, it was somewhat devastating for my elderly parents. However, I was able to talk some close friends into joining us. With an invite that was extended Christmas morning, they have to be close friends. They would have been alone. Widowed mother, adult daughter. My parents were overjoyed to hear that our table would be graced with their presence.

    What could have been empty spaces were filled with two people who were thrilled to be included in our laughter and family traditions. Isn't that what the Christmas spirt also means? Reaching out and making an effort. I loved reading about your joyful family Christmas times of the past. Let's not be afraid to create new traditions by reaching out to non-family visitors and stretching the spirit of Christmas to include some forgotten folks.

    Thankyou for your Christmas Eve thoughts..

  2. Well said, Anonymous. I'm glad that your generosity made the occasion even more special for both your friends and your elderly parents.