by Deborah Owen
Note: The astute reader will notice a strong inconsistency in the pictures. What is it? I’ll give you the answer to the mystery question at the very end.
Oh, you did come! I’m so glad! Come in and meet my family. We usually gather on Christmas Eve so everyone can be home for Christmas, but this year the family gathering is on December 28.
Okay, from left to right, Mom is first. She’s 96, can you believe it? *whisper* She’s a pistol. Don’t get her stirred up. And that’s my twin standing next to her. (Okay. I lied. I don’t have a twin, but it sure mixes the story up if I don’t use that slight embellishment. Yes, I know I don’t look like my picture. It’s a bad hair day and I’m not photogenic.) The little guy in blue is my youngest grandson, now 14, and the cutie in the white top is my oldest granddaughter, now 22, who just made me a great-grandma! Back to the left, behind Mom, is my precious daughter, Dory; her hubby is peeking over Mom’s head. Next to him is my beautiful younger granddaughter, now 18. See the big ham in the back? That’s my oldest grandson, and next to him is his father (my son), then my sweet daughter-in-law, and the old fellow on the right is my husband. We’ll celebrate our 55th anniversary on December 30. I’ve decided to keep him.
We all welcome you! This isn’t the first time we’ve had a visitor for Christmas. Today, you are our honored guest.
Did you see all the food in the dining room? Bet you smelled the ham the minute you came in.
We have ham sandwiches, chips, Dory’s special Jello-mold salad – out of this world – and various other treats and desserts. Stuff yourself! We also have Coke, Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper, and Root Beer. What? You’ve never heard of Root Beer? Oh, I love it! It’s a soft drink that foams and spritzes your nose when you take your first drink. It has a little licorice flavoring. Here. Have a taste… oh dear. That bad, eh? Okay, maybe you’d rather have Coke.
Let’s grab a sandwich and hog the seats in front of the fireplace! *giggles Isn’t it beautiful?
No stress is allowed in this room. Let’s sit on the loveseat. There’s a handle on the side. Pull it out and a footrest will pop out. Whoops! Ha ha… you weren’t quite ready for that, were you?
Hmm? No. That’s not real wood in the fireplace. It’s a fireplace log. It’ll burn six hours and won’t cause creosote to build up in the chimney. We had a chimney fire at our house one time. The neighbor called and said, “Do you know you have flames shooting 50 feet out of your chimney?” Well, duh, no! We ran outside, and man alive! We were lighting up the sky! It’s a miracle the house didn’t burn down, but I love fireplaces, don’t you? We used to burn Christmas wrapping paper and watch the flames turn different colors. [It doesn’t take much to entertain us. lol]
Hey! It’s time to open presents. Let’s go in the living room. Isn’t that a gorgeous tree? I love it.
As soon as everyone gathers, my son-in-law will read the first twenty verses of Luke, chapter two, that recounts the birth of Jesus. Sometimes we talk about it for a few minutes. You know, according to the customs of Bible days, Mary may have been as young as 16 or 17. Can you imagine having a baby in a barn? I wonder how long she labored, and what baby Jesus weighed. Mary had a wonderful husband. He wrapped the baby in swaddling clothes, which in those days, were burial shrouds, and laid Him in an animal’s feeding trough. The swaddling clothes were a prophecy that this baby would live a perfect life and die to pay our sin debt. We certainly can’t pay it ourselves. Anyway, after we pray, we’ll open gifts. We don’t spend a lot on one another. We give sweaters, scarves, books, DVDs and the like. Our gifts are meant to show our love for each other, just as God showed His love by giving us His Son.
By the way, we thought you might be coming tonight, so each person bought you a token gift. Now don’t feel bad about it. You’re our guest and we want to be a blessing to you.
Since Ethan is the youngest, he’ll probably pass out the presents. When we get them, we shake them and try to guess what’s inside. Dory usually has the two boys open one gift, then the two girls open one, and the kids alternate like that until they’re done. Then they go into the other room while we open ours.
Last year we had a White Elephant Christmas, which was almost like a game. Everyone brought something from home that they didn’t want, and the gifts were wrapped. We took turns choosing a mystery package. I chose the biggest one, of course. The gang went into an uproar!
I should have chosen the gift my oldest grandson chose.
That game was so much fun.
Oh, my! The night has just flown by. Our son and his family have a 2 ½ hour drive home, so that’s why they have to leave early. He hit a deer on the way home one night, so it’s bad driving after dark. Everybody wanted to know how much damage there was to the car. I just wanted to know how much damage there was to the deer.
You have to go, too? So soon? Awww… well, I hope you can come back next year. *hugs* Be careful and God bless!
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**The answer to the mystery question: if you noticed the clothing in the pictures, you know some pictures were taken in different years. 🙂 Did you catch that?