Isn’t this a great photo? It’s of my siblings and our spouses a couple of weeks ago at the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC. We had just toured the huge house with its magnificent Christmas decorations and were sauntering around on the grounds with about a million other visitors…or so it seemed to us.
Looking at the picture this morning conjures up all sorts of memories including a scrumptious meal at the Deerpark restaurant, lots of chatting and remininscing as we meandered our way through the mansion, and sampling pretzels and apple cider at the winery. The next morning six of us attended First Baptist Church in Spartanburg before going our separate ways because we thought worshipping together would be a fantastic way to usher in this most holy time of the year.
The other day I came across a commentary on extravagant Christmas letters by Garrison Keillor. It was splendid, and until you have a chance to read it for yourself, I’m going to quote a few lines that fit the eight of us. “Dear Friends. We are getting older but are in fairly good shape and moving forward insofar as we can tell….We go on working and hope to be adequate to the challenges of the coming year but are by no means confident. It’s winter. God is around here somewhere but does not appear to be guiding our government at the moment. Nonetheless we persist. We see kindness all around us and bravery and we are cheered by the good humor of young people. The crabapple tree over the driveway is bare, but we have a memory of pink blossoms and expect them to return. Good bless you all.”
Just so you’ll know, some of those young people referred to above are our children, and others are my youthful blogging buddies. Oh, and in case you want to read this and other great Christmas stories, poems, hymns, and commentaries, you’ll find a treasure trove of such readings in Caroline Kennedy’s A Family Christmas.