Wishing you all a joyous holiday season! We had a great Christmas. Probably the best one in recent years. For once we were all in the "holiday spirit"...which translates into putting up a Christmas tree and decorations. In recent years I just haven't felt like it. Even the house fire at Zip's house on Christmas Eve didn't dampen our spirits. If anything, it made us even more aware of the blessing of family...and more thankful for God's protection on us.
We all got together Christmas morning at the home that Troy, Rachael, Jed and I share. Zip and her children had spent the night so all 10 Birds were in the same place. I'd had great plans of making Christmas breakfast for everyone, but my 3 oldest grandchildren went across the alley to play with friends and my 2 youngest grandchildren went to spend the rest of the morning with their dad. I still cooked pancakes, but for a much smaller group than first planned.
Anyone who knows us knows that our Christmas giving is always low budget. Number one, we don't have a lot to spend. Number two, that's not what Christmas is all about. I'd told my kids not to get me anything...yeah, right.
I got a cool LED camp light and a camp toaster from Troy and Rach. Both very appropriate and appreciated gifts. My old camp light had died, and I used to have a camp toaster but had lost it years ago. The girls gave me a little wooden elephant...one that I'd given them after one of my Uganda trips :-). Zip, A and Caspian gave me a beautiful plaque that they'd made with A and Caspian's picture on it.
I When I got to the present from Jed I unwrapped it. It was a cute little change purse. Now, I love change purses, zippered pouches, etc. so I was excited. It was something I knew I could use. I could feel something inside so I asked Jed if it was phone bill money. I was surprised to actually find a wad of bills inside. Again I asked if it was phone bill money. He told me to read the note.
I started to cry. This is what it said:
I'd planned Christmas dinner for around 4pm. (I didn't know Zip would have to leave before then...) We had a couple friends coming over and one CouchSurfer I'd met online in one of the groups. We'd never met him before. He was a student from Egypt studying at Virginia Tech and didn't have anyone to spend the day with (although I don't think he would normally have celebrated Christmas anyway, being Muslim), so I'd invited him to join us as a part of our family.
What a treat! Amro was a hoot! He fit in with our motley crew perfectly and we all had a blast. Pete from Troy's band had joined us as well as Jean-Phillipe (an "adopted" son of mine). Amro blessed me with a cool set of statues of the pyramids and the Sphynx. We all laughed and talked for several hours. What a great chance to make a new friend! I appreciate the opportunity that the internet and various social networking sites affords to be able to meet new people and make new friends.
I hope everyone had a wonderful a day as we did. Wishing you all a relationship with the One for whom our celebrations are about! Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
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