Consecutive Days Riding: 76 Consecutive Days Blogging: 77
Today’s Mileage: 4 Total Trip Mileage: 648
Holidays and Holy Days on December 25:
Christmas Day – Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
As I climb on the bike this morning I look forward to the ride as it allows me to start working off all the indulgent holiday sweets. I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, the baby Jesus is asleep in the manger, and a steady stream of visitors have arrived to pay him homage. Joy to the World!I wish to dedicate today’s blog to one of the most valuable gifts of this season. The gift that keeps giving. The gift that carries on even after we are gone. I am speaking of family! Those who came before us, our parents and grandparents, and those who will carry on after us, our children and eventually grandchildren represent an unbroken chain. Let us add another loving link this holiday season. I have many positive fond memories of Christmas. Most of them center on my mother and our visits to my grandparent’s for the holiday.
I remember the ritual baking of the Christmas cookies in the weeks before the celebration. Often one batch was not enough! I loved the aroma that filled the house. While I did not particularly care for the process of adding frosting and candy sprinkles to the cookies, I did like the tradition of eating the “broken” cookies. Of course there were never enough broken or deformed cookies, so accidents seemed to abound! Even though my siblings and I checked repeatedly, and my mother warned us that “Santa won’t visit if you are not asleep,” he always slipped past our “lookout” efforts.
My childhood came before a time of digital cameras. Sadly, few images of this time exist. The only photo I have is from the Christmas of 1959. My sister Kathy and I sit in the foreground , she with a stuffed animal and her set of toy dishes. I’m handling an unidentified toy. My brother Mike can be seen in the background playing with our “Cowboys and Indians Fort” play set. Sorting through my trunk of mementos, I came across my mother’s baby photo and a shot of the family with in- laws from the early 1980s. Her questions about grandchildren always brought comments like: “You’ve got plenty of grand pets!”
That wasn’t the answer she wanted to hear. Rather it was the gift of a future generation she hoped for. The count now stands at twelve grandchildren and her first great grandchild has recently arrived. The baby Jesus in the manger held the promise of a gift, a tree of believers that would branch out to touch the world. The daughter of Victor and Margret planted her own tree with close to twenty branches and still growing.
Christmas holds many gifts, some of them are material items that are cherished and placed in a position of honor on the wall or a shelf. However, many of these objects quickly lose their luster, wear out, and are broken or forgotten. Other gifts, like precious shared memories and feelings of love and affection are seeds that provide fruit for a lifetime.
These gifts from the greatest: the gift of life, to a simple bauble that brings a smile to a face, all send a message that we care, that we value another, that we wish to share in the joy and celebration of life!
In this time of joy we should not turn our backs or close our eyes to those less fortunate. We should not forget those who are in need of shelter, sustenance, or comfort. Whether your celebration is about Jesus, or about family, or just a celebration of life, celebrate and share its gifts. The positive, loving memories you create are largely what will be cherished and remembered.