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Last Christmas

We are about to enter the peak of the 4th quarter.  I know many of us rely heavily on our 4th quarter sales to hit, and even exceed, our sales goals.  This coming from the woman who will hopefully be helping one of my daughters launch an online store in the next few weeks.


But today, my words to you aren’t about the hustle for the sales.  


They aren’t about doing more, selling more.


Today, while I’m thinking about how my Dad would have loved the snow we had yesterday (yes, even just flurries), I want to share my heart as we enter Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.


There was no way anyone in my family could have known that Christmas 2020 would be the last Christmas we celebrated with my Dad.  He had some red flag warnings relating to his health.  Sadly, we just couldn’t get the right people to pay attention.


Despite COVID, we figured out a way to celebrate with my parents as safely as possible.  I’m very thankful for those steps we took.


We spent Thanksgiving per our usual…Dad cutting the onion, my Mom and older daughter readying the turkey itself, my younger daughter tore up bread for stuffing, and I chopped celery.  We would have typically had the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the TV.


We watched Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone 1 and 2.  Hallmark Christmas movies are a staple.  Like clockwork, my parents would nod off about 15-20 minutes in.  It didn’t matter because we were together.


We drove up to be with them on Christmas Eve.  Greeting us about halfway through the drive was snow.  Wind.  Our normal 2 hour drive took us nearly 4 hours.  


We woke up Christmas morning to a winter wonderland.  We cooked another turkey with everyone assuming their command posts.  We ate cinnamon rolls and sipped coffee while opening presents.  Christmas carols played softly (my Dad would have preferred full volume).


We made beautiful memories.  Laughed.  Sang.  Enjoyed our time together.


For those that don’t know me, Dad entered the hospital in early March where they found a large mass in one of his kidneys.  We were in the process of moving them closer to us and then had him transferred here.  In the few weeks between scans, the tumor grew substantially.  Sadly, the cancer had invaded other parts of his body.  He passed on 4/18/2021.  We laid him to rest on 4/21/2021.  Incredibly, it snowed that day.  The latest snow in April in 100 years.  My Dad loved snow.  Loved the cold.


He LOVED Christmas.


He LOVED his family.


Why am I telling you this?


I tell you this as a reminder that we have no idea how long we have with our loved ones.  There may not be a next Christmas.


I tell you this to encourage you to focus on what matters most: the birth of our Savior, our families, friends, etc.


I cringe to think how differently I might feel this year if we’d not chosen to safely be together last year.  (I do believe everyone should make the right decisions for themselves and their situations).


I can honestly say I have no regrets about our Christmas last year.  We loved, laughed, spent time together, watched movies, etc.


As we head into the holidays, I implore you to stop and really think about what’s important to you.  Celebrate fully in the way you choose.  Love each other well.


Yes, I know that we must all earn a living.  But, please don’t let the 4th quarter financials overshadow a time of worship, togetherness and love.


And Dad…we love you and miss you so much.  Not a day goes by that we don’t talk about how you would have laughed about something, or jumped right in the middle of making cutout cookies at Halloween, or started watching Hallmark Christmas movies the night they premiered.  I know your truck radio would have been tuned to the station that plays Christmas music 24/7 starting 11/1.  I may just go drive the car around, with the Christmas CD you left in it playing.  Ironically, I think we are expecting more flurries today.




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