Silent Night

Olivia is dressed to tell Santa what is on her list!

It started snowing early this morning and it has snowed lightly all day long giving the trees, the yard, and everything a beautiful coat of fresh white snow. Also, it has been several days since my last post and I have wanted to sit and write, but I have not made time to do it for all of the things that I need to do are far more important than what I want to do at this time of the year. I have had several ideas and topics, which crossed my path, but for now, those will have to wait as I focus on the present.

It is Christmas Eve, late Christmas Eve and we should be in Ohio awaiting Santa; instead, we are in Illinois awaiting Santa. Somehow, a bug, rather a flu bug, got in the way and rather than risking getting Grandma and Grandpa Weaver sick, we decided to stay home until all of us felt better. Olivia got it Monday night and it hit me Wednesday afternoon, we were all down and out of sorts on Thursday and while Friday has come and gone and we are still here.

I can’t remember the last time I awoke on Christmas morning in my own bed in Illinois but it was a while back and there haven’t been many of them in all the twenty years I have lived here. But tomorrow, we’ll awake in our own beds and see what Santa brought us. Olivia is worried that Santa won’t be able to get in because Ivy will scare her off, she’s also worried that he won’t know where we are, and she’s worried that she won’t be feeling well. We told her not to worry about Ivy or to worry about Santa finding us, he always finds kids; even when I was in Venezuela or London or any of the other places I have been. Santa always finds kids; even big kids. As for getting better, she is feeling better and so am I.

The week leading up to Christmas has been big. Last Saturday, Olivia went to see Santa while William recovered from his all night electronic sleepover with the scout troop; he slept from 8AM until 1:30 PM and he was difficult to wake even then. He was fast asleep Saturday night and we let him sleep late Sunday morning and miss church. Sunday afternoon, we travelled to Brookfield Zoo for Zoo Lights and the possibility of having our picture taken with a reindeer. It is a tradition of sorts and one year we even dragged Warren and his two boys when they were on visit from Houston through a snowstorm to have our pictures taken with a reindeer. It was a magical night and we did have our picture taken with a reindeer. It was fun to walk through the zoo with Christmas music over the loudspeakers and the zoo lit with Christmas lights and all decorated for the season. It was a cold night but we stayed warm. The entire atmosphere seems to make to Christmas Spirit come alive for us.

The days since have zipped by, partly because I had to teach Monday and Tuesday and partly because I was sick Wednesday and Thursday and part of today. The flu really hit me I did not feel like doing much of anything until mid-morning today.  I ran errands and did odd jobs most the day. We finished the day going to the candlelight service at our church. It was beautiful and William and Olivia were incredibly cooperative about everything – including being ready to go and dressed; though I have to wonder if the visit of St. Nick had anything to do with it. It was a beautiful service with music and scripture all about the birth of Jesus and what it all means to us, to me, to what we celebrate, and more important to what it means for the world. I think in some way William and Olivia both got it, even in a small way. I remember when I was young; Christmas Eve was the time for my dad to read from the Bible the story of Jesus from Luke 2:1-20 and we would all talk about the meaning of Christmas; tonight’s service was different, it made a difference.

So, as Olivia and William sleep upstairs in wait of Santa, I reflect on the past few days and finish my first post since the weekend.  The night is still, quiet and it is still lightly snowing covering what we shoveled earlier and covering our tracks with fresh snow. I have done what I needed and made the days count with what I could. Tomorrow is Christmas and it promises to be a great day – possibly the best day ever.

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