I know we just celebrated Thanksgiving and that's when we're supposed to talk about what we're thankful for....but this Christmas I can't help but be grateful wonderful friends and family by which we are surrounded.
ANGELETTI EXTENDED FAMILY CHRISTMAS
Last weekend we celebrated Christmas with the extended Angeletti family. My grandfather, Poppie, is so special to me. Every year he blows us away with a book of special things. This year it was extra special......his book gives somewhere around 200 stories about his childhood, his salvation experience, his and Meme's wedding day, the births of his 5 children and his memories of raising them on a farm.
Now THAT is a legacy to be proud of.
A legacy to give God the glory for (which Poppie did beautifully in his book).
A legacy to be thankful for.
Something happens as you grow older (not that I'm that old) and you begin to realize the things you thought were "lame" as a teen are not so terrible after all. This is a sweet memory I am thankful for....more than ever before. I wish I would have cherished these sweet times with family sooner.
MILLER EXTENDED FAMILY CHRISTMAS
The Miller family Christmas was the next day. I'm reminded of the conversation we had in Sunday School recently. A lot of people in the class talked about sweet memories of the family getting together when the grandparents were living.....only to fall to pieces when the grandparents passed.
Not the Millers.
There were 12 children born to my grandmother Elaine and grandpa Raymond. They ALL still get together. This time is filled with people young and old that have come a long way. They were poor growing up and they all know what it means to be grateful. There is such unity of spirit because we all love the Lord.
THAT is something to be grateful for.
HAIR FAMILY CHRISTMAS
Our third Christmas celebration takes place on the eve of Christmas Eve and then on Christmas Eve day....make sense? It is at the Hair house. We get together and play games while we sip on Bebe's Russian Tea. Jo and I teamed up this year in Scategories and got cheated....by some cheaters.....our husbands. We were up 'til 3 o'clock! It's such a fun time. Bebe and Papa actually hung in there for the late night/early morning games.
Then on Christmas Eve day we have a time to open gifts and eat brunch. I have three letters for brunch......Y U M! Bebe is amazing.
I always cherish this time because there is such unity in this family. I love that we all have common goals. Everyone loves the Lord and wants His name to be made much of in our celebration. I love that.
We finish the day with a Christmas Eve service at our church before heading out to our 4th and final get-together.
ANGELETTI FAMILY CHRISTMAS
I am looking forward to this time more every year. I don't know if it's because I'm getting older and wiser :) or if it is that I have a family of my own and can appreciate my parents even more now.....whichever it may be, I am shocked at the generosity of my parents......really all year round, but especially at Christmas.
On Christmas Eve we always have a huge crab leg, shrimp and steak dinner. It's miraculous. Mom and Dad spend the days before shopping and cooking and preparing for what they call their most favorite time of the year.
This year is extra special. Cori and Jake will be there with Piper and Monica will have her new hubby Josiah there. So we keep adding to our family and it's becoming more and more special as my sisters and I share in the joys of having our own families.
We follow the dinner with opening of pajamas and the Christmas story....then on Christmas day we open gifts and sleep.
WOW! WOW! WOW!
Can you tell why I'm grateful? I have the most WONDERFUL family.....any way you look at it.....maternal extended, paternal extended and immediate family. WOW! God has truly blessed me far more than I could ever imagine.
I give Him the glory and thankfulness for unity in families, for laughter around a game table, for 'God is so Good' sung around a dinner table, for crab legs and steak, for children's toys, for the uniqueness of every family member, but most of all, for His son - Jesus.
So when we see our children playing this Christmas - let's remember what God gave up - His own child - so that we might live and experience the joy that only comes from the Father - and in turn give Him glory and honor and praise. For He is good and He loves us.