The 12 Posts of Christmas, Day 12: Reflections

Inside: The Christmas season swoops down upon us each year, dominating our lives for a short while, and with it come memories, like snapshots. Here’s a glimpse at some of mine.

12 Posts Christmas Reflections
You never know who will stop by the Hillbilly Christmas Wreath.

Christmas 2017

** Shops started playing Christmas music mid-November, and although I tried to ignore it out of loyalty to my second favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, this year I found myself humming along. . . With Thanksgiving coming earlier on the calendar, I thought I’d have more days to do all of the Christmas-y things I love. . . Not even close! But I did manage to keep a little busy.

** My first party of the season kicked off actually the last day in November. My writer’s group, The Scribe’s Tribe, held our Christmas party with good food and lively discussion. What a gift to gather with friends!

** Our Christmas projects ran the gamut this year, but none more special than our Hillbilly Christmas Wreath. Not only was it fun to make, but in a sense we fulfilled a promise. (That one’s for you, Dad!) I can’t wait to see what we do with it next year!

** On our last Roasted Bean Monday we dropped off a little gift for Nancy and Caleb to tell them how much their little shop meant to us this year. So many conversations, so much of life sifted and worked through. The Bean was a true oasis for Mom and me in 2017!

** A blur of hurry–baking, making, buying, wrapping! Jotting down a list or three and checking them more than twice. Here is when it gets hectic. And write the 12 Posts of Christmas series, too? (Am I crazy?) Your comments made it so worthwhile for me–and fun. Thank you!

** Snow on Christmas? Most years I’m checking the weather, hoping for a white Christmas. This December it wasn’t something I thought much about. And yet the small wonder of it–a snowy, white Christmas Eve and us all gathered snug and safe together. . . Well, almost all of us.

I admit to glancing at the couch a couple of times, my mind thinking back to so many Christmases when Dad would take his place on one end, listening as Emily read the Christmas story from the time she learned to read, raising his tenor voice to add to the symphony of voices singing “Silent Night” a cappella, slowly unwrapping his presents one at at time–and sampling any foods among them–all amidst the fun chaotic gift exchange that is the typical Harke Christmas celebration.

But it’s this year. While some things remain the same, some things are noticeably different. He’d want us to be happy. . .

12 posts reflections
My nieces Cora and Victoria, ready for Christmas. Picture by Ann Harke.

** So when did my nieces and nephews decide to grow taller? Who said they could! (I’m grinning.)

** A rare treat for me this year–Mike was able to join me at my family’s Christmas! When you work at a church, you tend to work long hours in December, and many a Christmas Eve he’s arrived late to cold leftovers and a sea of torn wrapping paper on the floor. Thanks to an earlier service, he had a plate of hot food, heard the annual reading from the passage in Luke 2, and got to unwrap his own gifts with the rest of us.

** Our Christmas celebration was over before we knew it. Tired, full, and happy. . . Thankfully the commute is less than a minute or two in the car to our place from Mom’s. Once at home, I fell asleep to Alastair Sim’s rendition of Scrooge.

** Christmas Day is different for Mike and me. It’s completely laidback, just the two of us, watching TV and movies. Snacking. Napping. Talking. . . I know it seems odd considering what most people do, but it suits us fine. After such a busy December, a quiet Christmas Day is a good gift.

** And speaking of gifts, we received so many great ones–a devotional, calendars, scented soaps, coffee, gift cards, a throw, cookware, and an adorable cow scrubby (I collect cow things). But one gift stands out among the others. A gift that changes everything.

The best one I have ever received and will ever receive. . .

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

12 Posts greatest gift
O Come let us adore Him. Picture courtesy of Emily Moore.

I wish everyone a blessed and joyful Christmas!


Do you have any favorite new Christmas memories to share? Tell us about it on the comments.

Related posts:

The 12 Posts of Christmas, Day 1: A Simple Song

The 12 Posts of Christmas, Day 2: Spiced Nuts

The 12 Posts of Christmas, Day 3: Our Prim Christmas Tree Forest

The 12 Posts of Christmas, Day 4: A Truly Southern Christmas

The 12 Posts of Christmas, Day 5: Seasonal Symbols and Traditions

The 12 Posts of Christmas, Day 6: My Top Ten Christmas Movie Picks

The 12 Posts of Christmas, Day 7: Cutest. Sleigh. Ever.

The 12 Posts of Christmas, Day 8: Spending Christmas with Charlie

The 12 Posts of Christmas, Day 9: Tortilla Cinnamon Rolls

The 12 Posts of Christmas, Day 10: Simple Ornaments

The 12 Posts of Christmas, Day 11: It’s Okay to Say ‘Merry Christmas’



2 Responses

  1. Lori Pfautsch

    Amy, I have really enjoyed your 12 Days series! Thanks for sharing your family’s activities, traditions, hope and healing. I can just see Gary smiling down on you all! Give Ann a big hug for me…I miss her hugs and chats so much! May God bless you greatly in 2018.


      Thank you, Lori! I appreciate you tuning in to the series and for your kind words concerning Mom and Dad. 🙂 And God bless you, too, in 2018!

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