Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Force was with Them

What could be more exciting than watching the much anticipated new Star Wars movie over Christmas break?

Unless it was watching it with cousins.



Especially cousins in costumes.

A whole slew of cousins in epic costumes!


Everything from Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker to R2-D2.


Chewbacca and some Ewoks.

886368_10205378770646287_509271128307715090_oAnd Porkins and Biggs – two X-wing fighter pilots, just to name a few!


This wasn’t just a movie viewing – it was an epic event!


And yes – the force was with them!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the entire Windy Ridge Crew!



And God’s richest blessings on your New Year!

Age to Age

450px-trio_of_handsDirecting our church’s Christmas program is one of the highlights of my Christmas season.

And one of my favorite parts of directing is taking the program on the road to our local nursing home.

Every year I give the kids the same talk.

“I don’t care if you mess up a song or forget a line. I just want you to smile and have fun. If you have fun on stage, your audience will enjoy it. And when we are done, I want each of you to go around the room, take the hand of each and every resident and say Merry Christmas.”

This year was no different.

My older kids knew the drill, but I had some younger kids who had never done a program. They looked at me like I had suddenly sprouted reindeer antlers. Touch old people? Weird.

After church, we had a potluck, put on costumes, packed up props and walked the kids the four blocks to the nursing home where the staff had the residents ready and waiting.

When we had finished presenting the program – which was adorable in it’s imperfections – I prompted the kids to start their “Merry Christmas’ing”.

As my older kids started the rounds, the younger followed.

Small hands, sticky from the potluck dinner, reached out and touched older hands – hands that had seen hard work, loved babies, clapped in joy, and wiped away tears.

Work worn hands that are now so smooth the skin is almost translucent.

I heard the sweet “Merry Twistmas” and saw young eyes full of imp and mischief looking into eyes that had seen much of life.

I saw the hand squeeze. The tentative smiles.

And it happened.

A connection was made.

And then another.

And another.

Those kids started to see beyond the wheelchairs and wrinkles and discovered real people.

Those residents looked into sweet young faces and remembered.

Both the young and the old were blessed.

And there was joy in my heart.

Holiday Nostalgia

Isn’t it amazing how pulling out the Christmas decorations brings back the memories?

Each ornament on the tree has a story. From the angel on the top that we bought our first Christmas together, to the five baby’s first Christmas ornaments, and the Swedish dala horses the kids painted with Grandma, each piece is unique to our family and to our history.


Then there’s the Plasticine nativity set we used when the our children were little. Pedro was so entranced with the donkey that he took it to nap time every day. He loved it so much the ears broke off. Replace it? Never. That ear-less donkey is as much a part of our Christmas as the red Christmas stockings made by Aunt Teresa.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised by our reactions when, at Thanksgiving, Mom asked my sisters and I to look through a box of Christmas decorations before she donated them.

What a flood of nostalgia!

I could almost smell the Christmas tree, taste the peanuts in my bag from Santa, and hear the song “I’m Getting Nuttin’ for Christmas”!


Most of the decorations got taken quickly – each of us finding that bit of home and childhood we wanted.

Most of the decorations – but not all.

There was this one.


The plastic holly Christmas tree thing that mom had hanging on the front door every year.

We all remembered it. It was an integral part of Christmas – just like the presents from Santa Claus and saying our pieces at the Children’s Christmas Program on Christmas Eve.

Yet the circa 1970’s plastic thing had none of the charm of the little elf wind chime, or the collection of teddy bear ornaments that had already been chosen.

None of us really wanted it.

Yet nobody could quite let it go. Imagine some stranger at Salvation Army buying our Christmas memory?  Unthinkable!

As we stood around the bed in the guest room, staring at our Christmas past, the solution suddenly became crystal clear.

We would pass it around.

Each year one of us would be gifted that lovely bit of plastic history and would have to (oops! I mean “get to”) display it that Christmas season.

And record it with a picture.

I was first.

It is now hanging in all it’s plastic glory in my sun room for all my guests to see.

Then, when Christmas is over, it will be carefully packed, ready to appear next Thanksgiving when another sibling will get to take it home.

Thus our Christmas past becomes a part of Christmas present and a new tradition is born from an old one.