How was your Christmas? Mine was wonderful, although a little different than usual. In fact, I had four Christmases in one week. Usually I just stick to two, sometimes three. Four might be a little much.
The first of the four Christmases was on Sunday, December 24. In the morning Tom and I attended Lewis Center United Methodist for the Fourth Sunday of Advent service. We have been serving as greeters and ushers at Lewis Center whenever possible, so we did this again on December 24. The sanctuary had a surprising number of worshippers. Because of the three Christmas Eve services later in the day, I thought more people would attend those. But a lot of people, like us, went to church Sunday morning and Sunday evening.
After lunch, Tom and I headed up to Mom and Dad’s for our Christmas celebration with them. We watched the Browns win (great present) and then opened our presents to one another. After a light supper, we headed to the Lexington United Methodist Church for Christmas Eve service. We picked up Bev Shepherd on the way so we had a shepherd with us for the service. The service was very nice with the required scriptures, carols, and candle lighting.
Once the service was over, we headed out to look at some Christmas lights. Mom had read an article in the Mansfield News Journal about a display at Beal and Fleming Falls Road. Two brothers, Jim and Dick Hagerman, have been decorating their yards for Christmas for 63 years. The display started in 1960 with a reindeer and sled on top of one of the houses. The two brothers added to their displays every year. Now, with Dick 86 and Jim 77, it is time for the light show to be retired.
It was easy to find the light display – we just followed the traffic! Lots of people were driving by and enjoying the lights and music. Because it was a warm evening we could roll down the window in the car and listen to the music as we drove by. Hundreds of other people had the same idea. A very festive end to the day.
The next morning, December 25, was the second of our four Christmases. I started a three-day fast in preparation for a colonoscopy on Christmas morning. Several people have asked me about the timing, but I didn’t have much choice if I wanted to get it done before we left for Georgia. Although I didn’t have any food on Christmas, Tom and I exchanged presents and watched football games and movies. My favorite present was a heated mattress pad. I have arthritis in my hips that doesn’t like the cold. Since I started using the heated mattress pad I haven’t had nearly the hip pain. It is wonderful!
Tuesday was pretty miserable as I continued the fast, but finally Wednesday arrived. After a nice nap, the procedure was over and I could enjoy some food again. Wednesday evening we had the third of our four Christmases. We went over to John and Jackie’s house to celebrate with them. Tom and I picked up some Teriyaki Madness, which is what I had decided I wanted to eat after the three fasting days. After sharing this feast with John and Jackie, we exchanged presents.
A surprising hit was the Flying Orb Ball set. I had seen an ad that made the balls look like fun for John and Tom.
The full name (on Amazon) is “2 Pack Flying Orb Ball for Kids Adults, Hand Controlled Boomerang Ball, Soaring
Flying Spinner Mini Drone, Hover Flying Ball Toy with LED Lights, Drone Ball with Endless Tricks Gifts for Boys
Girls.” Definitely sounds like something from China. But they are rechargeable and light up. After hitting walls and ceilings, Jackie told us to take them outside, so we did. The little helicopter inside makes them move in surprising directions and go a long way. I mostly just watched and laughed as Tom and John tried to throw them and catch them.
Our fourth, and biggest Christmas, came on Saturday, December 30. This was our Clymer Family Christmas. We had 14 people present, with three sick and three absent. Mom and Dad hosted and there was plenty of room for everyone. As at Thanksgiving, baby Eloise was the hit of the day. She is a happy, easy-going baby who is happy to be with whoever is holding her. She also loves to be in the middle of the action. Since Thanksgiving she has learned how to blow raspberries, which cracks everyone up.
We had our silly gift exchange. It just wasn’t the same without Jared, one of the missing sick, because he loves to pull pranks and rile people up. The exchange was relatively staid compared to the ones that Jared orchestrates but it was still fun. After opening up stocking presents, people started heading home. Eloise had worn herself out in her resistance to taking a nap and I am sure she fell asleep as soon as she got in the car. By the time we got everything cleaned up and everyone packed up, most of us were ready for a nap.
Having four Christmases in one week was a lot of fun and gave me the gift of feeling really blessed. I am thankful for Jesus and the gift of his presence at Christmas. I am also thankful for my wonderful family and the gift of their presence at our four Christmases. Every day we spend together is the real present.