When I think about Christmas, I think about Jesus, His birth and His life and then I think about my wife and children and our parents and our siblings. Christmas, much like Thanksgiving, draws family together. At least in thought, if not in presence.
At the Farm, times have really changed. We only have four children at home now. I think the last time we had four children at home for a Christmas was 1998 and those original 4 kiddos are all married now! Between 1998 and today the old farmhouse has swelled to capacity and shrunk again. The older married ones have another side of the family to navigate now and have to make choices about where to go and when to come or not. I am thankful for FACETIME!
This year, we were blessed to have had all 9 of our children and their families in for an early Christmas last Sunday. It is a rare day, save a wedding, that the entire clan is able to gather together.
In my mind, I wrestle with the past, present and future. The present is both bitter and sweet, for I know that it will be harder to get on their schedules as life marches on, just as it was for our parents when Joelle and I started our family. But when all of their schedules align, like this Christmas, it is so wonderful!
And one day, Joelle and I will be the great grandparents. And with our strength fading and our love increasing, there will be a parade of progeny that comes by the old farmhouse to visit and extend Christmas wishes. And we will talk about chasing cows, or harvesting lettuce early in the morning so we could go swimming later. Or when this one or that one got their first hit or scored their first goal. And Joelle and I will get to hold another crop of Klesick’s for the first time and beam with pride as our pictures are taken.
Family is the gift that matters most. And it is the same this Christmas as it will be next Christmas.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!