Hand Family Christmas

For the first time in more than eight years, I had both of my sons home for Christmas. It has been a joy to have the house full with my sons and my grandchildren. For most of the past several years, Michelle and I have travelled to spend the holidays with our parents and siblings, which is always a great way to spend the holiday, although many times it was mourning the loss of a family member who was missed for the first Christmas since their passing. This year, we decided to stay home rather than travel. My eldest son moved in with us this year, so we had the pleasure of his company, but then Andrew also said he wanted to spend the holiday with us too.

With the holiday approaching, and knowing that Lindsey and the kids had another set of parents to visit, Michelle and I decided to do a Christmas brunch, rather than dinner. We decided to roast a ham, make a baked egg casserole and a hash brown casserole and have country green beans and Hawaiian rolls round out the menu. Michelle and I split the duties on the ham; she made the hash brown casserole while I made the baked egg casserole and the country green beans. The reaction of the kids made slaving over a hot stove while the kids played with their toys worthwhile. “Grampa, you and Mimi should open a restaurant!”

I didn’t realize how much I missed having kids around on Christmas morning. I love my family, and i love spending time with my mom and siblings, but having grown kids makes things different. Not worse, just different. But this Christmas, with the kids’ antics and the things they say, ranks right up there with the best in my memory.

Spending time with family is the best way to spend the holiday. Remembering the joy of giving is important, as is observing beloved traditions (even if it is beloved by only one person), but last night, after dinner and our traditional drive around to look at Christmas lights, I read from the second chapter of Luke to remind the children of the reason we observe Christmas. They sat and listened to not only that, but Grampa’s reading of “A Visit from St. Nick” before they headed off to bed. Zachary admonished his older brother and sister that they had to get right to sleep before midnight or else Santa would not stop by.

Even the typical sibling drama was minimized, from both levels, as everyone got along and had a great time. Now we can look forward to visiting with Great-Granny and Aunt Debbie starting tomorrow.

Merry Christmas all.

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