Hope Wissel

Twas the Night Before Christmas


Christmas Eve day… the hustle and bustle reaches immeasurable heights as last minute shoppers make the final dash to the malls for the perfect gift.  Holiday office parties are in full swing.  Others are home preparing for family and friends to arrive – dinner cooking (is it fish? or turkey? or ham?).  Kids are eagerly counting down until Santa will arrive bringing gifts for one and all.  While still others are grabbing a quick dinner as they head to church to celebrate the real reason for the season…


As for our family, the holidays have changed so much.  The first change came when breast cancer took Elsie from us.  She was the glue which brought us all together – no matter what happened all year long.  The changes continued when Alzheimer’s took Grams from us.  Belinda grew up and headed to college – more changes.   During the first 4 years she was in North Carolina, she traveled home where we spent Christmas with us.  Five years ago, kidney cancer took Edythe (mom’s middle sister).  Now Belinda is married and holidays are shared with her extended family in North Carolina.

Tonight we will be at my best friend’s house celebrating Christmas with our extended family.  This year, Rob is off on Christmas Eve so we will be together. Mom and Sal will join us.  As for Christmas Day, hubby will head to work so others can enjoy the day with their family. I will spend the day with mom.

As I sit with hubby looking at the Christmas tree – memories of Christmas Eve’s past flash through my mind.

The many years of trying to get Belinda to go to bed so Edythe, Elsie and I could put presents under the tree.  It was really hard carrying things past HER room to get to the living room.  It always made for a lot of laughs.  The early morning calls to wake everyone up so Belinda could open presents.  Waiting patiently for mom to get off work so we could open presents.  The funny thing was – Belinda wasn’t a morning person so we always had to WAKE her up.  Really, on Christmas morning????  Then instead of opening all of her presents and THEN playing with them.  Christmas morning was a forever process.  We learned games were opened last or at least towards the end or else nothing else would get opened.  Belinda wanted to play with toys as each one was opened which could definitely make for a long day.  Great memories of days gone by…

Cherish the moments with family tonight.  Let the struggles of the year go for you never know what tomorrow will bring or if we will even be here tomorrow.   There are tears of joy, tears of sorrow for those who are no longer with us and tears of anticipation for what God has in store for me and my family over the next year.

child with present

Merry Christmas to my friends, family, Thirty One customers and hostess and all of my blog fans.  You have blessed me in so many ways this year…

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