When I'm asked, "How was your Christmas?" Many things come to mind. I'll just tell you a few things that made the 2013 Christmas season special for me.
First, we must remember Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas. We must keep the glory of his birthday uppermost in our hearts as we get involved with the hustle and bustle of the holiday.
I attended the Wednesday night Advent services, the carols and candle service and the Christmas Eve program. It is so great to sing the Christmas carols expressing the feeling of joy to the world, Hallelujah Christ was born.
Our book club read "The Christmas Box" by Richard Paul Evans. This holiday classic is a wonderful book; many people have been touched by its magic. The story answers the question "What was the first Christmas gift." A Father's love.
The women's group at St. John Lutheran Church had their Christmas party meeting the second Sunday in Dececmber. Our secret prayer pals for the year were revealed. We then picked a candy cane from the decorated tree. Attached to it was the name of our secret prayer pal for 2014.
Each year, our group gives a Christmas gift to members of our congregation who might be alone, homebound, unable to attend regular services or live in a skilled-care center. This year, we gave 14 members fresh fruit baskets, letting them know we think of them in prayer. We find giving is better than receiving and helps all to enjoy a more festive Christmas season.
What did I want for Christmas? I always say being with family is at the top of the list. I really don't need anything -- but this year I added a wish. I wish I could get the pictures that were in my camera. My camera disappeared last month. If someone found my camera, they can keep it and the case it was in, but I'd love to have the pictures I had taken on the film inside the camera.
I was lucky to attend the program presented by Angel Sharver; she received the honor of Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2013. Her story was interesting. She closed by reading a book from the library titled "The Night Before the Night Before Christmas" by Natasha Wing. It was a sweet book relating to her situation.
Our support group had their Christmas get-together at the Rose Garden. Scrumptious food (I ordered prime rib -- a once a year treat). We then had pie and ice cream at Marcy's beautifully decorated home. Guess what happened to me. I spilled my coffee on her white carpet. Woe is me.
I never thought I would thank God for a flat tire. One day before Christmas, my first stop was the post office in Ellis. When I stepped out of the car, I saw my tire nearly was flat. I drove to the co-op station, and they fixed it for me. I was so thankful it was on the driver's side, where I saw it in time, and that it happened in town and not on my way to Hays.
Here's a couple of cute things I came across. They made me smile, and I want to share them with you. In my daily calendar of Church Chuckles, I found this one: "Guarding the front of the Nativity scene was a small armored figure with tape over its mouth. When asked who it was, Kyle said, "That's the Silent Knight."
Then I found in Barbara Johnson's "Daily Splashes of Joy" the four life stages: 1. You believe in Santa Claus. 2. You don't believe in Santa Claus. 3. You are Santa Claus. 4. You look like Santa Claus. Which stage are you in?
I let the kids decide the what, where and when our Christmas would be. Their lives are full of activities and jobs. They decided Mom shouldn't be left out, so they picked when (Dec. 22) where (Ellis Days Inn), what (a potluck get-together) and made it happen. I'm so blessed to have a caring family. I'm writing this story Dec. 20 not knowing if the weather will cooperate.
On Christmas Day, I plan to attend church services and then go to the community Christmas dinner at Hays VFW. What's a treat and blessing; thanks to all sponsers and volunteers making it possible.
I sincerely hope everyone had a memorable Christmas and 2013 was a prosporus year.
I wish a Merry Christmas to all, and may your New Year be the best year ever. Thank the Lord for all his blessings in the past, the present and the future.
Opal Flinn is a member of the Generations advisory committee.