Oh, Christmas! How I love thee! The beautiful decorations, the giving spirit, the wonderful comforting aromas of homemade baked goods, but most especially the love of a Heavenly Father who sent His Son to earth to save me!!
I don't love the long lines in stores, pushy irritable shoppers, having a zillion presents to wrap at the last minute because I procrastinate on things like that. But this Christmas is different. Yes, the lines are still long, people are still irritable, and I still have a zillion presents to wrap. But I am sad. Yes, sad. How can one be sad at Christmas? Well, I'll tell you. The joy of spending time with my family is overshadowed this year by the events of the following week. One of my oldest sisters (there are 5 of us girls) is moving and taking with her my beloved niece. Over the past few years, my niece has become a part of my family. She is the big sister to my children, our oldest "daughter." She even calls my husband "Dad." She loves his chicken strips and camp stew. She comes over just because she loves us and has a few minutes to spare. She comes over for a cup of sweet tea after school (because we have the best). We laugh together; we cry together. You see, Virginia is a long way from here. And at 17 years old, she has spent her last birthday in Alabama with her family. This will be her last Christmas with her family. She will miss my children's birthdays for the first time ever this year. And I am sad.
But tonight, I will put on my happy face and enjoy one last chicken strip dinner with her, as dad makes her some camp stew to take with her. I hope that every time she eats chicken strips she continues to say, "There aren't as good as Dad's." And I hope that every time she laughs, she remembers the laughs we have had. And every time that she cries, she remembers crying on my shoulder. And most importantly, I hope she never forgets how much she is loved by her family here. I wish her happiness and quick adjustment, and a speedy return to Alabama. We love you, Kasey.
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