Don’t worry ; not planning to re-hash the pandemic and what it has done to Christmas this year.  People with more and better words have done that.  But I will share a few thoughts as I look back on this out-of-the-ordinary Christmas day.


—–frequent conversations , agonizing and tough decision-making by our children ( all four ) and Byron and me on how we could safely have Christmas ……together.  Their worry : our health.  The result : a most unusual celebration, very different from 30+ years of 11:00 am brunch at our house, followed by the gift-giving around the tree.  But we prevailed by “dividing and conquering “.  Blessed are we.

And to what end ?

—–a beautiful throw in shades of blue, knitted especially for Byron and me by our oldest granddaughter.  No  “store-bought ” anything can compare to this labor of love,  proudly presented by her sweet husband and her.

—–an exquisitely crafted wedding album from our oldest grandson and his  lovely bride, who married in May of this year.  No  “store-bought ” anything can compare to this thoughtful memory.

—–special gifts FOR special people FROM special people  ( a pair of highly recommended shoes for support for my injured knee and a soft warm cape for this always-cold mama ) ;  stockings filled with fun things and practical things and thoughtful things.  So much thought and effort go into choosing just the right present .  Awesome…….

—–and then a particularly touching surprise in our driveway : 3 wisemen ( 2 were wise women ) and a guide serenaded us with Christmas carols.  CLee, Thomas, Haley Sue with her guitar, all dressed in robes and one carrying a gift, and Muff as their guide.  Such fun, and no professional group, anytime, anywhere, can come close to the meaning of that moment.

One family in Lavonia, in the Long’s backyard ; one family in Athens, in the Toney’s front yard.  Not ideal, not what we would have chosen.  But we were masked and socially distanced, observing all precautions to keep everyone safe.  And we were TOGETHER———and that’s all that mattered.

And so you say, what’s your point ?   Well, here it is :  we are no different.  We are not the exception.  We share the values of love and caring and sharing and friendship with all of you.  If that were not true, you wouldn’t be reading this !

And now, as Tiny Tim would say,  “GOD BLESS US , EVERYONE “.