Being away from your family for holidays and celebrations are always difficult, and I think Christmas is the most difficult. All of the memories and traditions over the years makes Christmas “Christmas” to me. As Christmas started to rapidly approach all I could think about was the memories and traditions I had with my family and friends. Thinking about how Christmas wasn’t going to be anything like the past years for me this year, and most of the years to come, I started to get hopeless that the Christmas joy would slowly fade out of the season. Of course, our true joy for Christmas should surround Christ’s birth, but somehow I couldn’t see past not being back in Wisconsin for Christmas.
One morning I was in prayer about my attitude for Christmas this year. God showed me so many ways we can make Christmas special this year that truly show the meaning of Christmas. This year, we are making new memories, new traditions. We’ve decided to bring Fred’s entire family (14 people) to our 2 bedroom apartment for Christmas eve through Christmas Day. Some family will even stay for the week! What will we eat to celebrate Christmas you ask? Well if you can recall our wonderful wedding day and gifts…upon request, we will be having goat and chicken! Yikes, I told Fred that they need to be “prepared to be cooked” somewhere else, I can only help in the cookies area. Food is food, right?
We are excited to have the entire family together this year and many years to come. This may seem “normal” for many of us to have the whole family together for Christmas. However, this is something that Fred’s family have never experienced since they were young. We are both filled with joy that we can celebrate the birth of our Savior with family. We have also invited two youth who are orphans that are serving in the ministry with us. Neither of them have family to go to for Christmas so we have invited them to celebrate with us.
While it still breaks my heart not to be close to my family in the States, I have a new since of joy for Christmas this year. I’m blessed to be able to have family here and it’s a joy to start new traditions with our family as we serve in Kenya. Thank you God.
Tonight we had Good New Director’s children over for a sleepover; we have them come over at least once a month. They helped us decorate the Christmas tree (Grandma sent lots of Christmas goodies!)
Merry Christmas to you. May you remember the real reason for season as you surround yourself with people that you love and that love you.