I recently had a conversation with my brother about how my outlook on the holidays has changed dramatically since our father passed away three years ago.
Since childhood, we always gathered around a roaring fire in the fireplace that daddy built—to unwrap gifts that we were hoping to find based on the exhaustive list we provided each year to our parents. And each year, my mother would say, “Christmas will be slim this year, so make sure you tell us what three items you want the most.” Of course, those three items would be the ones given to us AFTER we had unwrapped everything else on our list.
The smells of freshly baked persimmon cookies and hot wassail made for a quick breakfast and sometimes a slice of the “sample” sweet potato pie just before the big holiday meal. Most times, we had others around the table that didn’t have a family like ours to share the holidays with. My mother has a heart for those who may be lonely, and I’ve learned something from her about noticing others.