A Blessed Christmas
by Joy L. Hale
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Taken from a story I wrote that was published on Christmas Eve, 2005, in the San Antonio Express-News.
A Blessed Christmas
Every once in awhile, if we are fortunate, we experience a Christmas that is perfect in every way. Christmas 2004 was such a year for me.
The neighborhood was full of the Christmas spirit long before Christmas Day. One cold december morning, we were thrilled to find out that we had won first prize in the outdoor lighting contest. Christmas carolers strolled through the neighborhood, spreading cheer as they visited every home. Neighbors and friends stopped by to visit, to exchange holiday greetings and share a cup of hot cider while warming themselves in front of the brightly lit fireplace.
Our home was full of the smells of Christmas; the tree was decorated with ornaments old and new and bright red personalized stockings were hanging from the mantle. I had been baking for weeks; the kitchen counter was laden with Christmas goodies just waiting to be eaten. Hot chocolate and cider simmered on the stove as we waited for the arrival of my son and his family. My son married late in life and the long awaited newborn grandchild would soon be introduced to us for the first time. Alex, our three year old grandson came into our lives when Jerry married Cortney.
Suddenly, Cortney called excitedly from the front door, "Special Delivery for Gramma!" As I took Morgan Grace in my arms for the first time, I wept with joy. I looked down at her beautiful face, seeing the geneology of 100 years looking back at me. My son's sparkling blue eyes twinkled, the cute button nose was her mother's. When I looked closely, I saw my grandmother's dresden complexion that she so prized and the burnished red hair that my father and I shared. My heart swelled with pride as Morgan reached for my hand, looked me over carefully and patted my face gently. I could almost hear her say, "I don't know you yet, but I think we are going to be great friends." Holding her close to me, I knew my most precious Christmas gift had arrived early this year.
Christmas morning was perfect. A rambunctious 3 year old happily tore open his gifts with glee! In the background was the soft cooing of the grandaughter who had already captured our hearts. Laughter and excitement rang through the house as everyone exchanged gifts. While Alex played with his toys, the adults gathered in the kitchen for coffee and homemade sweetbreads. I found my son in the living room, looking in awe at the nativity, I stood for a quiet moment by his side . When he spoke, he almost whispered, "Mother, thank you for giving the Holy Family the place of honor in your home."
I remember fondly the time spent with each member of the family. Close moments of sharing with my daughter-in-law, reading to Alex as he pressed his warm little body close to mine. I spent much of my time holding and rocking Morgan as I sang to her the same Irish lullabies my mother sang to me as a babe.
I'll always remember that Christmas; it was a Christmas about new beginnings, happiness and unconditional love. The best gifts I received that year were not under the tree, but were handed to me, with tenderness, wrapped in bows of promise, tied together with gossamer ribbons of love.
Copyright December 24th, 2005
All Rights Reserved
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|Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen
|Thank you for sharing this Joy, I appreciate reading this, what a blessing that Christmas must have been!!!!
In Christs Love
|Reviewed by FRANK UNDERWRITTEN
|Thank you for sharing your rich blessing in this manner. I hope you have another wonderful Christmas this year. It is wonderful to have such warm memories to cherish.
|Reviewed by Joyce Bell
|A PERFECT OFFERING...FILLED WITH LOVE, JOY AND THE WONDROUS PEACE THAT ONLY THE TRUE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS CAN BESTOW. THANKS FOR SHARING, JOY. LOVE, BLESSINGS AND FAITH...
JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS
|Reviewed by Paul Judges
|Delightful story, Joy|
|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|Thank you for sharing such an apt and timely and lovely gift, Joy. Love and best wishes to you,
|Reviewed by Christine Alwin
|Amen to this, wrapped are the gifts of joy, My 2 Grandgirls ages 2 and 4 are my biggest packages :) family is fortune~
|Reviewed by Kay P Devenish
|Thank you for sharing this inspirational write.|
|Reviewed by John Flanagan
this has such a warm welcoming feel to it,
a joy for you and your family and a joy
for each and every reader who is fortunate
enough to read this; yes, that was quite
a Christmas and i hope you have many many more of them.
|Reviewed by Clarence Prince
|I can lmagine how much Little 'Morgan Grace' brought you happiness that Christmas, dear Joy! However, I hope that somehow, You'll be blessed this year too. God is good!|
|Reviewed by richard cederberg
|A wonderful gentle feel in this prose that bubbles with the spirit and fragrance of the season. Enjoyed! Peace to you Joy ... richard|
|Reviewed by Christine Tsen
|What an inspiring story, Joy!
It certainly is a sparkling Christmas gem!
|Reviewed by Vivian Dawson
|Having The Christ in CHRISTmas applied
is what Life is all about, and You, Dear Joy,
certainly exposed what that is like with such
abundant rich blessings of family!!!
|Reviewed by Annabel Sheila
|Enchanting story, Joy! It's fairly bursting with love and happiness! All the right trimmings for a Christmas to remember! Thanks so much for sharing this gem!
|Reviewed by Laura Fall
|This is truly magnificent poetry so beautifully written and meaningful well done Laura
|Reviewed by Richard King
|Joy, It's quite easy to see why they chose this offering to publish, it's such a well told depiction of a very special time in the lives of all of you. One of the truly special benefits of Christmas is the coming together of family. This is especially true when there is some separation preventing getting together on a daily or weekly basis. Lovely write. Dick|
|Reviewed by Judith Ann (Reader)
|I enjoyed reading this memory from the files of your mind. You took me there. I could feel the love and joy you all must have felt that Christmas season. And THAT is what Christmas and Christ is really all about. Thank you for sharing...you made my day.|
|Reviewed by Mr. Ed
|This sounds like a truly Blessed Christmas, indeed. The best kind are usually tied together with ribbons of love.|
|Reviewed by Mark Lichterman
|This poem is so reminiscent of theChristmas' in my family. Being Jewish, there was no religious sentiment but Christmas in my home and, actually, in the home of my parents was always about family as we were all there; first my two brothers and myself, then, as the years rolled by, my parents and my brothers and their families . I'll always remember the Christmas days of those years, when all were alive and all were together, as a family.
Very fine poem here, Joy.
Thank you for the remembrance.