Whidbey Island – 24 December, 2012
Christmas Eve – One of the best days of the entire year for me. “Twas the night before Christmas,” has always been a phrase that thrills me. I remember as a young child lying awake in my bed straining to hear the approach of sleigh bells. Not having a chimney worried me and the parental assurance that Santa Claus would simply use the front door seemed a little lame but even so the magic gentleman always seemed to somehow get into the house and leave me presents. Christmas morning was lots of fun, to be sure, but for me the delicious anticipation of Christmas Eve, when everything is possible, was and is always the best part.
Tonight, as we’ve done for years, we are going out to dinner with friends. This year we’re going to the Belmont hotel in Port Townsend. This involves a half hour ferry ride and coming home in the dark will be a mysterious adventure. Add Christmas Eve to that and, like the child that I am, I am looking forward to a wonderful time.
Though none of our children or grandchildren will be with us this year, we are with friends, so the lonely part of Christmas won’t be so bad. This time of year brings out many nostalgic memories. On each Christmas Eve, I still see my young self watching out the window with Mother hoping to catch a glimpse of the arrival of my brother Bud, who was serving in the WWII Army Air Corps or Roy home on leave from serving during the Korean conflict. Sometimes they weren’t able to make it home and we would place a candle in the window to serve as a beacon for both them and for us – This light marks home. I still put that candle in the window each Christmas Eve to let all those, who can’t be with us, know that we still remember them.
I hope there is a candle in someone’s window for all of you and this letter finds you safe, warm, and contented. With all my love, and a prayer for those families who have suffered so much this season, I wish you a Merry Christmas!