Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Eve Eve in the Valley

It's quiet in the house on this Christmas Eve Eve ... tiny white lights are on outdoors with a splash of color here and there ... the Christmas tree is lighted, and wreaths are glowing. There is a variety of holiday shows to choose from on TV as the hours pass and the evening prepares to turn into Christmas Eve.

With the first of our out-of-town family here, we are expecting the others tomorrow and looking forward to a Shenandoah Valley Family Christmas. With a weather eye to the sky, we are keeping up with the ever-changing weather forecast, vacillating from exuberance at the prospect of snow to the disappointment of just rain to the "oh-no" of the possibility of ice, and back to snow again. I suppose we will see on each day what the weather will bring but I put my order in a while back for a White Christmas. One forecast calls for snow Christmas night.

Gifts are wrapped and under the tree ... a good chunk of food prep was done today. My feet are propped up after spending much of the day in the kitchen. The remaining food prep will be done in the morning and then the Christmas Eve buffet will be laid out for all to enjoy at their leisure.

Thoughts turn to those who are traveling with a prayer for safe travels, and to those who have loved ones in the hospital and ill. We can't help but pray for the Churchville family that lost their home to fire Friday night along with four family members -- a nine-year-old boy, his mother and father, and his grandmother. Only his grandfather escaped. Such a tragedy would be overwhelming at any time of the year but to happen at Christmas is almost too hard to imagine.

My thoughts also go to the family of Robert Fitzgerald, the hiker lost on Shenandoah Mountain in November and who has never been found. I often gaze toward those mountains and wonder what happened to him, and think about how awful it would be for his family. Searchers will again look for him on December 29.

A prayer of thanks for our military members at home and around the world, and to their families who sacrifice and spend the holidays without their loved ones ... and to our First Responders and emergency personnel who are there when we need them.

Remembering that Jesus is the reason for the season, it's time for sleep. Tomorrow is the eve of the birth of our Lord.

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