"The Christmas Letter"


I came into my office this morning to clean up my desk and there tucked in among all the papers was our Christmas letter addressed to one of our friends that got lost in the clutter.  Of course then I had to make the decision - 

mail it or toss it.   

I decided to mail it.   

So in the middle of January -  

Merry Christmas - 

again. . .
                                                                                                                          Christmas 2016  

A white Christmas - and for a moment the world falls silent as snowflakes quietly fall to the ground.  On their way down some tuck themselves away on tree branches while others cover the ground in a perfect sheet of flawless white. 

Inside we’re wrapped in the warmth of this Christmas season. Grape wreaths wrapped in white lights sparkle in the windows, the scent of the freshly cut tree fills the air, greens grace every flat surface, and the bells on the front door keep jingling with the arrival of family.   

Followed by -  

Much snuggling and cuddling in front of a warm crackling fire under fuzzy throws, much story telling and making new memories, singing Ho Ho Ho The Mistletoe and Fa La La La La-ing, and where’s the hot chocolate and do we have whipped cream?, and wrapping paper scattered everywhere. 

Many sweet and beautiful memories are made sprinkled with “The Family Stone” moments. 

Sigh. . .

And then as we gather on Christmas Eve. we remember another time so many years ago on another Christmas eve when a man and a woman traveled by donkey on a journey to deliver the most precious gift of all -  traveling in the most primitive of ways over hills and through valleys - not knowing when they arrived in a town unfamiliar to them in the middle of the night - the only place to lay their head that night would be in a stable nestled among donkeys and sheep - filled with the anticipation of the gift they were bringing to the world in the form of a tiny baby boy who would spend his first night in a lowly manger -

And who would one day be called our - Savior.  

His name is Jesus. . .

As I turn out the lights and lay my head on my pillow with the smell of hot chocolate still hanging in the air I know - .

“Even when you don’t know the magic is happening. . . it is happening”.  The magic of family, of grace that covers all our imperfections and the miracles that God tucks into our everyday lives.  Sometimes without us even noticing.

With all our adult children asleep here and there - and our Niya Lilly snuggled in with grandpa and grandma -   

I am grateful. . . 

Grateful for family because that’s where it all begins and ends. . .  

Grateful for my hubby, our four children, our beautiful granddaughter and most importantly - 

All our friends who form an invisible circle around us with their love, who become family.  

Grateful for the memories of this past year -   

For the special moments - 

For the ordinary moments.  

And grateful of course, that I love the smell of fresh falling rain. . . 


Phil & Sandy



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