Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Blessings

The letter for this week's ABC Wednesday is W, and I could have posted a photo to illustrate . . .

. . . Winter, or I could wish you all a Frohliche Weihnachten!

But since this Wednesday is also Christmas Eve, I assume that most of you, like me, will be busy with family activities or last-minute preparations for Christmas Day. So I wanted to post a few days early to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

The "hustle and bustle" of Christmas is nearly over for me with most preparations completed. I have time to sit back and reflect, counting my blessings this Christmas.

Everyone has their own Christmas traditions. As a child, our family would attend Christmas Eve services, and when we returned home Santa had come! It was not until I was older that I realized that Santa made an early appearance at our house so that we would have time as a family, since Christmas Day was spent at two different grandparents' homes. When I married, my husband and I made this our own Christmas tradition, again so that we had our own family time.

Today, the grandchildren know that it's not Santa who comes to our house. But as they open presents from Grandpa and Grandma and their aunts and uncles, their eyes still shine with delight. We re-live the magic of Christmas through their eyes.

In recent years more stockings have been added as new grandchildren were born or new "significant others" are introduced to the family.

No one is forgotten on Christmas:)

Some traditions change, though: this year for the first time my husband and I will spend Christmas Day alone. My children will be spending the day with their in-laws, and that is as it should be. Although we usually spend Christmas Day at my mother's, she always regrets the fact that most of the grandchildren cannot make it, so I persuaded her to postpone the family gathering this year until the weekend when more of the grandchildren will be able to attend. I am older--and wiser, I hope--and can appreciate the peacefulness of a quiet day at home.

I look at the angels on my tree, crocheted by my mother and think how blessed I am to be able to spend Christmas with both of my parents.

Older Daughter will not be here for Christmas, but Boyfriend's family will be spending the holidays with them in Arizona. I am happy that the two of them will still have a family Christmas.

And I think of a local family whose only daughter was killed this past week in a tragic car accident. I will say a prayer for them and remember how blessed I am.

Angels are in abundance here at Christmas, and some of them have taken on special meanings. I think of those who are no longer with us, including my dear goddaughter Andrea. I am blessed to have good friends, especially my life-long friends Beckie and her husband. I share their joys and sorrows.

I think of those who have lost their jobs in the past few months, and then look at all the presents under our tree. We are not financially rich, by any means, but we are blessed to be able to provide for our family and to help in a small way those less fortunate.

And we are blessed to live in a country where everyone may worship as they choose and celebrate the holiday in their own ways.

My wish this Christmas is the one first uttered over 2,000 years ago:

"Peace on Earth
Goodwill to Men."

To all of you, my dear blogging friends, I wish you a very blessed Christmas.


  1. What a beautiful post, Rose. I feel like I've had a nice visit to your home. Have a very merry Christmas, with many blessings on your family!

  2. Merry Christmas, Rose:) You have given me a beautiful greeting to the day. Your post is uplifting, and reminds me to look for the kinds of blessings you are thankful for. My family's traditions are special to me also, and I tried to create them for my own children, as well. Enjoy your 'peaceful' Christmas day, and then the time with your children and grandchildren. You are such a loving soul! You REALLY need to figure out how to leave me a message:) Jan

  3. Merry Christmas to you too Rose! Enjoyed reading your post much and loved all the decorations.

  4. You are about out of letters to post about Rose. I will be interested in seeing what XYZ are.

    Your Christmas post is wonderful. Beckie & S are truly blessed to have you as friend which is more family.

    Much Love and Peace to you and yours this Christmas.

  5. Merry Christmas Rose, have a peace filled & joyful day with hubby!

  6. It looks like you are already for the holidays-with a ton of stockings just waiting for Santa! You have a very nice Christmas too Rose.

  7. How lovely, Rose. You are a very rich woman, surrounded by many gifts ... it's been a blessing getting to know you. Merry Christmas!

  8. It looks beautiful and sounds wonderful, Rose - but for many of us, a family celebration like yours is closer to a TV movie or nostalgic novel than to anything in present real life.
    We see our family in smaller groups now -the last time Philo & I were with all four of our kids for Christmas it was 1996! Enjoy your blessings.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  9. Thank You Rose. Your home is beautiful and full of Christmas charm. Counting your blessings is a good thing, and if I can still my heart for a while I will do the same.

    Merry Christmas to you :)

  10. Hi Rose, a beautiful and moving post. Your family gives you much joy and love, yes you are most lucky to still have both parents too. We have found that whenever the family can be together is the holiday, not a day on the calender. Here's to a wonderful gathering whenever it happens! CLINK! (A lifted glass of ginger ale to you and yours!) :-)

  11. I loved that post...... so full of lovely things tied up with your family.
    Hoping you have a wonderful time. Happy Christmas to you all.

  12. Rose, I love your angels, especially the angel of peace in the last photo. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by loved ones.

  13. I am a little misty eyed reading this post Rose......I am sure you will enjoy your Christmas day....perhaps a time for quiet reflection......

    My heart was saddened by the tradgedy you mentioned.....we cannot understand anothers pain unless we have felt it to.......
    I shall also think of dear Beckie.......she is blessed to have you......

    Your house looks warm and inviting a home should look.......

    Thank you my friend for the comments and caring words you have so often left on my blog......I wish you and yours a happy and peaceful Christmas........

  14. Rose, happy holidays to you, too. It is a great time to count one's blessings and be thankful for all we have. Thanks for inspiring me to think of that. Also, my own "granddogs" got their photo taken with Santa--you can see them in my latest entry!
    ~ Monica

  15. So serene you post sounds. A perfect Christmas post, Rose! Merry Christmas.
    You mention about people losing jobs did remind me of a customer to whom I spoke to today. He told me that people in his neighborhood weren't decorating their houses as they lost their jobs only weeks/days ago. That saddened me and I said silent prayers for them immediately. Let god shine rays of hope and belief in their minds.
    Let Santa bring them boxes of better future!

  16. Merry Christmas, Rose! Maybe on Christmas day you & your husband can start a new tradition; caroling at the neighbors, or playing a Christmas game or just enjoying listening to Christmas music together. We're also doing the 3 Days of Christmas this year. I wouldn't mind having a quiet day at home in the middle.

  17. What a warm and welcome home you have. Thank you for sharing with us. Your decorations are lovely.
    How lucky we are to count our blessings at this time of year.
    Merry Christmas, Rose.

  18. Joyce, Thank you. You're welcome to visit any time:)

    Jan, Thank you; I am glad this touched you. Traditions are so important to me, yet sometimes it's good to start new ones as well. I left you a message on Blotanical--I still can't leave comments on your blog, and I can't figure out why. It must be something with my computer. After the holidays, I am going to spend some time to try to figure out what's going on. Please know that I do read your posts, even if I'm a "silent" reader!

  19. Susie, Thanks. I was going to make this a short post, but I got a little carried away taking photos and couldn't decide which ones not to use:)

    Lisa, This is the third time they've done the ABC's, I guess. I don't know if I can come up with X, Y, and Z:) Beckie is the one who's always been there for me; she's the one who is always there with a helping hand. Thank you for your wishes; I hope you have a wonderful holiday, too.

    Thank you, Racquel; I wish the same for you!

    Tina, I've run out of stocking holders! And if the girls get married and have children one of these days, I'm going to need another mantle:) Merry Christmas to you and your family, too.

    Joey, Sometimes I think I'm a chronic complainer, but I'm working on that. Seriously, when I stop to look around me, I realize just how fortunate I am. Merry Christmas to you, too!

  20. Rose. a beautiful heart warming post. We are blessed in many ways aren't we? Sometimes we get so busy at this time of the year we forget to remember them and be thankful.

    I feel so blessed to have you in my life. You are the dearest friend. Thank you for thinking of Andrea. That's very comforting to me.

    My wish for you and your family, dear friend, is to have the Merriest Christmas and the Happiest New Year!

  21. Flydragon, Thank you. I wonder if there is any chocolate under the tree for me?:)

    Annie, I know you are right. My immediate family has always lived near by, but I know that is the exception nowadays for most people. Even at my parents', it's rare to have every member of my brother's and my families attend. I hope you and Philo have a wonderful Christmas!

    Suburbia, I've had time this year to be a little more reflective this year about Christmas. Sounds as if you are doing some serious thinking, too?

    Frances, You are so right that "Christmas" in terms of family can come any time we're together. I raise my glass of gingerale to you, too, and wish you a merry Christmas.

    Maggie May, Family is so much a part of Christmas, isn't it? Hope you have a wonderful day with your daughter and grandsons.

    Marnie, Thank you. And Christmas greetings to all your animal friends; I wonder what your co-workers would say if they saw my stockings for the pets here.

  22. Cheryl, The accident I mentioned was so tragic because it wasn't caused by icy roads, but by a drunken driver. When I look around and see the sadness and the problems other people have, it makes me realize just how fortunate I have been. Thank you for all the kind words you leave here; enjoy the holiday with your family!

  23. Rose what a wonderful Christmas post ! .. Your decorations are very pretty. The "Peace" angel really caught my eye as did Toby's ornament : )
    Merry Christmas and a VERY Happy New Year to you and yours : )

  24. Monica, I think I spelled your name wrong before--it was the German spelling:) Thank you, and thanks for the link--your granddogs are quite handsome fellows and so well-behaved with Santa!

    Chandramouli, When I watch the news, I hear about so many people having to cut back this Christmas. I have noticed fewer outdoor decorations in our town. While we Americans can certainly stand to cut back on our spending, I hope that everyone has a few presents under their tree this year. Happy Holiday wishes to you!

    MMD, We used to do the "5 or 6 Days of Christmas" when my children were young--somehow I left that out of my posts. So a quiet day is rather appealing to me, too. I don't think my husband would go in for caroling, though:)Enjoy your holidays!

    Wendy, Thank you, and thank you for being such a positive influence in looking at the brighter side of life. I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

  25. Beckie, You know I'm not always a glass half-full kind of person:) But this year I've had time to reflect a little more and realize just how fortunate I am. Thank you for everything. Your friendship is truly one of my blessings. I hope you had a wonderful weekend with the girls.

    Joy, Toby and all the other four-footed friends here have an ornament on the tree. I hope Sophie and Emma have a wonderful Christmas, too. Have a happy holiday and stay warm!

  26. A beautiful post Rose. Have a lovely Christmas!

  27. What a thoughtful and beautiful post. thanks for sharing and I will add my prayers to the family who has lost their only daughter.....enjoy your Merry (quiet) Christmas--but just until the weekend right?!

  28. Hiya Rose,

    You have outdone yourself!

    This must be the best Xmas post around.

    Best wishes for the season.

    Your Christmas Card is here.

  29. Lovely photos of your Christmas decorations, Rose! I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy2009.

  30. Hi Rose - how inviting your house looks for the holiday season and as you say, we are very blessed.

    I'll be doing a post especially for you and a couple of others to explain my recent mysetry vegetable. So sorry I didn't realise that it's not well known in the States.

    Have a lovely Christmas and a peaceful New Year!

  31. Oops - forgot to say the post will be in the New Year.

    Happy Holidays!

  32. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well Rose. What a wonderful post which reminds us to count the blessings we have and remember those who are not as fortunate.

  33. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well Rose. What a wonderful post which reminds us to count the blessings we have and remember those who are not as fortunate.

  34. What a wonderful post.

    Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas and a healthy New Year! xx

  35. Rose, I hope you had a merry Christmas. Your post was beautiful, and your home looked so filled with the Christmas Spirit--so warm and inviting.

  36. Rose, this is a wonderful post. Even though the big day has come and gone, I still appreciate the Christmas feelings you have...

    Changes take place over time...our Christmases are not what they used to be. Perhaps one day we'll be grandparents and enjoy little childrens' laughter again :o)

    I'm sure your day was blessed and peaceful.

    Merry Christmas,

  37. What a beautiful Christmas post, Rose. You have captured the true spirit of Christmas in your words. I hope you have had and continue to have a blessed Christmas season!

  38. Rose - This post is wonderful and your photos illustrate your words perfectly. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas and that you have a wonderful weekend with your continued celebrations.

  39. I love your Christmas pictures. They are beautiful.

  40. Dear Rose,
    Such a lovely post. Thank you.
    My Christmas has changed over the years. My parents are gone now and the children are far-far away...
    Yet I still am delighted and filled with a Christmas spirit. The love of Christmas is always about. The joy is only a bird song away. It is up to me to see and feel and know the magic and the blessings. Peace begins in my heart.
    May 2009, be filled with much joy for you and yours.
    Peace and joy,

  41. Rose this wa a beautiful post.May the Spirit of Christmas leave its blessings on the hearts of you and yours! hugs NG

  42. Blossom and Neva, Thank you.

    Joco, Thanks so much! I enjoyed your card, but I had trouble leaving a message. It was lovely.

    Reader Wil, Thanks!

    VP, I'll be looking forward to finding out about that mystery vegetable:)

    Carolyn Gail, Thank you, and you are right about remembering that others may not be as fortunate as we.

    Liz, Thanks; I hope you had a great holiday, too.

    MG, Thanks; I do love Christmas.

    Mary, Thank you, and yes, traditions change over time. I'm not sure I would want to go back to the busy, hectic Christmases we used to have.

    Kylee, Thank you so much. I loved your Christmas message as well.

    Cindy, Thank you; we did have a wonderful Christmas. I hope you had the same.

    Sweet Bay, Thank you, and thank you for visiting.

    Sherry, Such lovely sentiments. Traditions do change, and you are right in saying that we must look for the Christmas spirit wherever we find it.

    Naturegirl, Thank you so much. Now if everyone would only keep that Christmas spirit all year, wouldn't it be wonderful?


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