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Christmas Reflection

DISCLAIMER: For those of you that actually love Christmas, and especially the current crop of Christmas music, this section is not for you. Proceed to the message from Danette.

By Danette:
I'm laying here trying to sleep and pondering what we should write about in our Christmas letter this year. We haven't done anything noteworthy this year: we haven't moved, we don't have a new baby, no new job, car, or even an exciting vacation to talk about. And then I realize: "shouldn't a Christmas letter be about God - Jesus - the Christ child?

Why is it that no matter how hard we try to focus on Christmas as being the celebratino of our savior's birth, it still seems to get overshadowed by gift giving and holiday decorations? In our lives today, een the nostaliga of a Christmas carol holiday is hard to find. Could it be that in making our lives easier, with artificial or pre-cut trees, we've lost out on some of what makes Christmas a family holiday? Maybe the meaning in having a Christmas tree and decorating is more to be found in the time we spend together, relating with each other. Spiritual moments are still to be found, in attending Midnight Mass Christmas Eve, and reading the Christmas story with the family, but the amount of time spent doing other things seems vastly disproportionate to what it should be. If Christmas is about the incredible love God has for us, a love so great that he was willing to give up a part of himself for us - the people he loves - then maybe that's what we should do to celebrate Christmas. Share that love with the people we know, and maybe even those we don't know. Not just by giving gifts, but by sharing time, and giving up a part of ourselves for those we love. It may not be family that we are spending Christmas with, but why not make those we come in contact with part of our family, even if just for a short time.

I guess my gift for all of you this Christmas are these thoughts. Normally, I would keep them to myself, not write them down for other people to read. But I hope that maybe somehow each of you will feel a little of the love God has for you this Christmas.

Our Year in Review

In brief, our year was not much to speak of. We have but two events to really share with you. The first is our very close encounter with moving to Manhattan. I had applied for a position at St. Johns Univeristy in Queens. Danette and I flew out there for an interview in late August. Prior to, during, and even after the interview, they gave every indication - verbally and otherwise - that I was their "golden boy" (they said applicant, but I converted that immediately to "golden boy").and it was virtually a done deal. We were so confident that we spent four day in NYC looking for possible neighborhoods and apartments in which to live in Manhattan. We were excited, of course. We could hardly contain ourselves. This was it. A mutual dream we have shared for sometime, about to come true. We boarded the plane home, excited, albeit exhausted thinking of the things we will need to do to move to a place such as New York. It was all academic (pardon the pun) as it turned out as with each subsequent communication with the staff at St. Johns it became clear that our dream was fading. I do not know to this day what happened. our dream was shattered. We can only speculate. Despite going to great lengths to get the job..."poof"...our dream had been dashed. We still hope to someday get the opportunity to live there, even if for a short while.

The other item we have to share is that with diligence, we will own our little home in the hills of Virginia outright. Will we ever live there? We don't know. Will we ever retire there? Not sure. Will we ever stop putting thousands into it to fix it up? We can only hope. But we do know this: it is very possible this is our one insurance policy against homelessness. So we've got that going for us. Which is nice.

With this home, we will be celebrating Christms this year with a small group of family consisting of: Danette's father, mother, her grandmother, and ourselves. We look forward to a warm and peaceful Christmas, and with the same for everyone.