I did some Christmas shopping on my lunch hour today, because it's Almost Here..... My shopping is almost finished, and I must wait for the last check before Christmas to get those last few things. We are keeping it fairly simple this year, and though I wish I could say it will be all homemade, that would not be true. We did make jams this summer which are being gifted, along with the crock pot apple butter that came out so well. But we have bought gifts too, though nothing elaborate.
One of the best presents for me this Christmas is the opportunity to spend time with Jeff, my youngest son. Jeff has never married, but is hard-working and steady. He lives with some co-workers (and has always done in the past, mostly) in Independence, Missouri, some 50 miles from us. We do not get to see him often, as he works at a retail store where he must work many weekends. He does not have a phone in this day and age, so we communicate through snail mail and through occasional emails. We saw him briefly last weekend, and on Saturday, I will go back over and sit and talk with him, take his Christmas gifts, and maybe get to have a bite to eat with my youngest "boy" who is now 40. I am going to try to combine the trip with a visit to the Bingham Waggoner and the Vaile Mansions, the two beautiful Victorians that I missed last Christmas when I got there on the day they closed for a brief holiday break. The ensuing blizzard prevented my return visit to see them. I'll take lots of pictures!
This year there will be no video games in Santa's bag at Grandma's...we are encouraging reading and thinking and playing outside and DOING... instead of fantasizing about doing. On the 18th we'll drive to Ames to see Keith's parents, and on Christmas Day after church, to my oldest boy Jim's, where they will host the gathering for the first time. So it will be a quiet Christmas season here on the farm, with no large parties to prepare and no company in and out. It's a time in our lives when we are ready for a bit of rest and relaxation, and a remembrance of Christmas' real meaning, Christ's birth and the promise that it brought to the world.