It’s my pleasure to welcome you to Day Eleven of the Virtual Advent Tour. This event has become an integral part of the book blogging community’s holiday traditions. Every day from December 1st through December 24th, a group of bloggers will share thoughts about the holiday. Come back any day and click on the button in my sidebar to follow the Advent Tour.
I’m sharing today’s post with another challenge I’ve joined . . .
I’m also following No Ordinary Blog Hop, and this week’s theme is JOY. It’s a finish this sentence kind of thing: “I gave joy to the
world when I . . .” Since I’ve been feeling nostalgic, I decided to write about a very special Christmas present I gave years ago. The story begins with my dad, Al Smith.
My dad loved Christmas. He was really just a big kid at heart. He would nag my mom until she put up the Christmas decorations and make her keep them up for months. I remember one year, my sister made a special Christmas decoration that hung from the ceiling like a chandelier. Day after day my dad insisted it stay up, until finally my exasperated mother tore it down and hid it away–in July!
Dad loved things that lit up. We had candles and Santas and whatnot in every window and on the porch. One year when I was too sick to play in the snow or venture outside, I cried because I wanted to see how our house looked in all its finery. Dad bundled me up in every sweater and blanket we could find and carried me into the front yard to see our decorations from the street. It was extremely icy, and Dad’s feet slid out from under him in the driveway. But Dad twisted his body to cushion me from the fall. His knee was never the same after that. No more men’s softball league for him.
My sister Jackie is twelve years older than I. After she’d married and had kids, there were still two of us living at home, but Dad wanted to see his grandkids on Christmas. So Dad and Mom used to get us out of bed early on Christmas morning and drive us to Jackie’s. There, we would watch our nieces open their gifts. One year they received a game that required some assembly. Dad and I put it together. Then he wanted to test it out. We played, and he cheated to beat me! At a game for 3 to 5 year olds!
The Lord took Dad in 1990. Holidays were never the same after that. We didn’t get together with my dad’s side of the family as much. We didn’t see all of our family on Christmas day. Dad had been a driving force to keep us close. Without him, we became a bit disjointed.
In an effort to recapture some of that old magic, I sought to find a unique gift for my family. Something we could treasure. Something that would bring us back to those happy days when we were young. I realized my immediate family didn’t even have many pictures from our past. I began searching through my grandmother’s and aunt’s photos and scanned every one I could find that might have special meaning for my mother and sisters. Back then there was only one place in town to do it, and it wasn’t cheap. But it was sooooo worth it!
So I gave joy to the world on that Christmas morning when my mother and sisters opened their photo albums to find them filled with old photos, poems, and special mementos. Here’s some of what they saw. Enjoy!