Merry Christmas sweet friends! Home for Christmas has been in the title of my home posts for the last few weeks. During that time it really referred to Our Home for Christmas, and this evening we are going to conclude the season by looking at the rest of the rooms around here that you have not already seen….like the kitchen.
It was a very busy room today as we prepared Christmas dinner for my side of the family. Every single year that I can remember we have had a Christmas Eve celebration together with a lot of delicious finger foods, but with everyone’s schedules this year, that was not possible.
So a real-deal sit down dinner with baked ham, sweet potato souffle, ambrosia, two cakes, and more was on tap for the evening, and it all turned out very well.
There was a peppermint theme going on in the kitchen and dining area this year. A very kind reader sent me the Peppermint Bark tray and a tin of candy a few years ago, and they worked beautifully in the desk cabinet this holiday season.
The naughty and nice tags returned to the coffee jars.
(I think I might have needed a lot of that naughty kind today rather than my usual nice decaf!)
I hope 2017 brings a replaced sink countertop.
That one section has seen waaay too much use and abuse.
I said that Home for Christmas has meant Our Home for Christmas thus far this season, but on this special day I wanted to take a minute to talk about home and what it means. You and I both know that a home is so much more than just pretty rooms. It is a place where you feel safe and loved.
It is a place where you can be yourself…and you are accepted and loved for it.
It is a place where laughter and joy are shared along with sorrows and grief.
Home is important, and that is why I share what I do here with you because I know that you feel the same way about it as I do.
The old cliche is so true. It’s the people that you share it with that make a house into a home. So today Home for Christmas is not only about our home, but also about our children getting home for Christmas.
Our middle child had a Delta flight scheduled home to Georgia last Saturday. He attends Yale, and you may remember New England had a big snow storm last Saturday. He kept watching his flight information on his laptop throughout the day…delayed…delayed…delayed. He finally decided to start his train ride to the airport when it looked like his 7:35 flight was going to leave at 10:40. So he left New Haven around 4:00.
There are 2 trains to get to JFK, and both of them were delayed, but eventually he made it there and got through security, and finally to the gate. We texted back and forth through all of this. The shuttle from the Atlanta airport to here stops running at 1:00 a.m. so we knew we were going to have to make the hour and half drive to pick him up at this point.
His flight was delayed again, and again, and again. They finally boarded around 1:00 a.m….began taxiing, and then… stopped. The plane turned around, and they went back to the gate. They told them they could not take off because of “crew problems.” Finally around 2:00 a.m. (I think) they delayed it until 11:35 on Sunday morning. After the group of passengers complained and complained, the airline put them all up in a hotel for the night.
Sunday morning arrived, and they were all shuttled to the airport. The flight got delayed again…12 something, 1 something, and then…..flight cancelled. They eventually re-booked them all for a flight home on Monday morning at 9:05…they would fly to New Orleans with a long layover, and then arrive in Atlanta at 5:00 that evening. (Now remember this was supposed to be a Saturday evening flight..a nonstop-less-than-3-hour-flight.)
They put them all up in a hotel for yet another night. Oh I forgot something…final exams at Yale are online. My son still had one exam left to take on Tuesday. He joked that it looked like he would have to take his exam in the airport!
Somehow all of their luggage went to Atlanta on Saturday night without them…so all of those passengers had to make do with only their carry-on bags. Guess where our son’s book was that he was supposed to be studying from….in his checked baggage in the Atlanta airport. 🙁
Miraculously, Delta found him a seat on a direct flight for 6:05 Monday morning with an 8:45 arrival in Atlanta. So he took the shuttle from the hotel at 4:00 a.m. He got to security, and they told him it would be faster if he went to Security Gate 2. He went there and….it wasn’t going to be open for another hour. 🙁
Back to Security Gate 4 he went…
He got through security, waited at the gate, boarded the plane. The passengers were all ready to go. My son texted me saying, “Amazingly we are on the plane, we will see if amazingly we take off.”
His next texts said…
“We are all on the wrong plane!”
Unbelievable! They all had to get off and get on a different plane. But they did actually take off, and our son finally made it home for Christmas on Monday morning around 9:00…and his luggage was there for him in Atlanta. 🙂 Hallelujah! (And after contacting the administration at Yale, he was allowed to take his final exam a day late.)
So one child made it home.
Yesterday, on Christmas Eve, our oldest son was getting ready for his flight from Seattle to Atlanta. At 5:00 a.m. he went downstairs in his apartment building to take out the trash….forgetting his apartment key…the key that unlocks the doors of the building and the elevator to get back to his floor.
He had to wait outside in his hall for an hour and a half until he saw someone that could unlock the hall door…and because of that he missed the carpool to the airport with his friends. 🙁
He then called for another ride, made it to the airport, got through security, and went to an airport restaurant to order breakfast. It took 20 minutes just for them to wait on him….
But he made it to his gate in time to board, and his flight took off on time. 🙂
(It even landed 5 minutes early on Christmas Eve!)
So a second child made it home for Christmas. 🙂
Then yesterday afternoon our Disney daughter (who was supposed to be working on Christmas Eve) pulled into our driveway around 4:00. What a wonderful surprise! 🙂 She somehow managed to get a couple of days off during the peak crowd level at Disney World. So on this day, when we originally thought only one of our children would be here, all three of our children made it home for Christmas. 🙂
It has been a full day filled with laughter and joy, feasting and fun.
We have been so very blessed. It has been a day to celebrate the birth of God’s son who made His home here on our planet for a short while…a time when he taught us to love as He loves us.
The other day I was reading this Instagram post by Lindsay from Lindsay Letters. She wrote that it is only 330 miles from Aleppo, Syria to Bethlehem. Think of that….the place we celebrate as the birth of Christmas is only a few hundred miles from the place where everyone – young and old, weak and strong, no matter what, are fleeing from their home.
As I sit in my decorated home with my family all in tact, there are families with children sleeping in the desert.
The crisis is real.
I love what Lindsay wrote:
But Jesus did not come so that I could feel peace, and then snuggle back in. He came so that He could teach us how to love. To love the broken and the hurting and the people that are different from us… to stand up for injustice, to listen to the people that no one else is listening to.
We are called to action. When problems seem so large and overwhelming like this crisis in Syria, it is often difficult to know what we can actually do that will make a difference.
Here is an article that can help you find that “something you can do” to help the refugees if you would like.
We normally purchase and decorate a fresh cut Christmas tree for our porch each year.
However, this year, we did not do that. Instead, we decided a better use of our money would be a donation to help with the Aleppo crisis. So I took Lindsay’s recommendation and donated to Preemptive Love Coalition, a group working to provide emergency relief to victims of war.I believe it will help more people than a decorated Christmas tree could ever possibly do. 🙂
But that does not mean I believe we should give up everything that is pretty and creative in our homes. No. Our lives should radiate joy, and our homes should be a place of comfort and joy for our friends and families, and we should help others as often as we can.Thank you for giving me joy with all your comments. I so appreciate all of you who sent your Merry Christmas wishes my way this holiday season. As Christmas Day draws to a close, I simply wanted to thank you and let you know that I am taking the next week off from blog posts to enjoy time with my children. I do hope to work on emails, but there will be no new posts this week.
I hope your home has been filled with wonderful people and all sorts of fun and festive things this Christmas season.
See you back here soon!