I was 18 years old. Mom and Dad had gone to Florida to be with my mom’s parents. My sister was off in the Navy and I was home by myself. It was Christmas time. I was working at a hospital and was unable to get off work. So, I was about to spend Christmas all alone for the first time. Christmas Eve I was the loneliest I had ever been. The house with only me in it was so lifeless. I decided I just had to get out so I took a drive. I passed a Catholic Church and the parking lot was full. Midnight Mass! At this point in my life I had never been in a Catholic Church but mass sounded pretty good to the Baptist boy at the time. But I was wearing jeans and a tee shirt. While now I am certain I would have been welcomed I didn’t go in because back then you just didn’t dress that way for church. Today it would be no big deal at all. That year I learned a whole new appreciation for family and the traditions we shared at Christmas time.

That was 47 years ago. I’m a big boy now. This year I will spend Christmas with my wonderful wife and share it with good friends. But, for the first time we’ll be spending it away from our daughters and their families. We have some wonderful people we will spend Christmas day with, but, it just won’t be the same. When it comes to Christmas, I am pretty traditional. By that I mean I cherish the traditions we have shared as a family. For example, Tea Cakes are an important, no, vital part of my Christmas celebration. A Tea Cake is a very simple cookie my mom made at Christmas time when I was a child. She taught Mary to make them. Mary’s are even better than mom made. They are a very simple cookie, sort of like a sugar cookie. But in my opinion, there is no better cookie in the universe! When God said let there be cookies, I’m pretty sure Tea Cakes are what he meant. (Don’t tell my kids/grandkids I said so but, I will survive Christmas without them. But I’m not sure I could without Tea Cakes!) For 42 years we have celebrated Christmas with our children. This year we won’t and we’re going to miss them, a lot.

We are all trying to figure out this fulltime RV living thing. I am hopeful that we will figure out how we can still be together at Christmas time. But if we can’t we will figure out other ways to share Christmas. One thing for sure there will be some video chat happening this Christmas. Our girls will be together and we’ll be together with people we love so we’ll all survive.

One thing for sure, we’ll all be celebrating the birth of the same baby and the difference that birth has made in each of our lives. This will give us a reason to be reminded that Christmas is not really about us anyway. It’s all about Jesus. He really is the reason for the season.

Mary and I want to wish each of you a very merry Christmas!


  1. Merry Christmas from Carl and I. I am sure ya’ll will figure it out how to be together for Christmas video chatting or all together in one room. Whatever it shall be they are in your hearts. Enjoy your retirement and traveling. Patti n Carl


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