Sunday, December 11, 2016
I am writing you early in hopes that you will receive my letter in plenty of time before your trip.
You may not remember me, the little German girl in a knitted shawl and cap, blonde hair and a couple of missing teeth. I wrote in crooked letters back then, learning my alphabet. That was about 50 years ago.
I wanted a doll, some chocolate candy, and some new mittens to keep my hands warm during the cold winters in Germany. I remember the oranges that I received, wrapped in delicate tissue paper. Oranges were rare in winter and we only had them at Christmastime.
Before I make out my list I want to thank you for the presents I received last year. The robe keeps me warm and cozy and fits perfectly. I love my fuzzy slippers! I loved my gift card to the book store. The kitchen gadgets come in handy. I truly appreciated all the pretty and thoughtful gifts I received.
I'm keeping my Christmas list simple this year. Christmas is about the kids, so don't run yourself ragged over a middle-aged woman who has everything she needs. Please, no new kitchen appliances to clutter up my already crowded cabinets. Come to think of it, I don't really need a new waffle iron. And, please, no more lotions, bath oils, or spray colognes. I am highly sensitive and besides, I already have enough lotions to satisfy the moisturizing needs of an entire nursing home!
Christmas is about the children. Please fill their stockings with a home full of love. Bring them lots of smiles and presents of overflowing joy. Give them hugs and kisses and stories to read. Bring them lots of goodies, too. And of course, honor their little lists of toys and games and dolls, but also teach them that it is good to give, as well as receive.
What I really want for Christmas is for children and adults to believe. Believe in good things, believe in the impossible, believe in hope and love. There are gifts we can give to one another that don't have to be wrapped and tied with pretty ribbons. The gift of love. The gift of forgiveness. The gift of understanding. The gift of hope. The gift of encouragement. The gift of friendship. Practical gifts wear out and break down, but the gifts of the heart are eternal. And most of all, the gift of the baby Jesus should not be forgotten amidst the tinsel and strings of lights.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
It is been a busy Fall. The end of October my daughter and I drove to Gatlinburg to see my nephew get married. We were there for only a short while, but managed to take a few pictures before we came home. Gatlinburg is only a four drive from where I live. Of course, hearing about the fires in the recent days is heartbreaking, as my family has so many memories from the Smokies.
The view from our hotel room.
The wedding chapel in the woods.
The tunnel going to Gatlinburg.
At Pidgeon Forge
On the way home