On December 18, we left behind the palm trees wrapped with Christmas lights and landed in a pure-white winter wonderland of pine trees frosted with snow. It had been an unusually snowy season, and snow continued to fall almost every day while we were home. Yes, we had been dreaming of a white Christmas, and it was just what we were hoping for.
All of my sisters and nephews were home this year for Christmas for the first time in fourteen years and it was wonderful to be all together. My nephews from Mexico and Tennessee, who are all growing up very nicely—ranging from 5ʹ10ʹʺ to 6ʹ7ʹʺ—especially enjoyed the opportunity to experience a northern winter and build snowmen.
We celebrated with my family on Christmas Eve, and wrapped up the evening with the service at Christ Presbyterian Church. It closed with the singing of Silent Night in a darkened sanctuary, everyone holding candles and lighting them from one to the next, a beautiful and moving symbol of Jesus coming to bring light into our darkness.
On Christmas Day we celebrated with Keith’s family, and this was also the alternating year when everyone was together. Even when we’re living our land life, those precious times when the entire family can be together are all too rare. Being away this year, we treasured every one of those moments.
It was a whirlwind of activity and we didn't have time to see most of the friends we wanted to see. Still, by the time we were scheduled to return to Florida, we were happy to leave the chilly white stuff behind. We’ll miss everyone, but we’d rather be on a white sand beach.