Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Christmas”

House Full Of Love

Something that has become much more evident since my wife and I became “empty-nesters.” We love the evenings of solitude, but we miss the “activity” of the house we once had. Four grown up kids later we realize that with that activity came much more.

Happiness Is

Sure there was the worry about where your kids were in those teen years when they were “just going out with friends”. Yes there were those late night phone calls with urgent requirements ( I won’t explain, but some of you understand I am certain).

In the end the house was full of motion. We tried to create a “house full of love” that our children could feel comfortable to bring their friends to. To share in the laughter and the angst of growing up together. Rock music bumping loud enough to rattle the ceiling fans. video games going into the early mornings, mysteriously missing food from the pantry, laughter and doors opening and closing frequently.

Believe me some of it got on our nerves as parents, but we knew it would end someday and we were happy to know that our kids were okay. Several of their friends have become like part of our family and we still enjoy hearing from them. Sometimes we hit and sometimes we missed with our kids. Some of our kids understood it and some truly didn’t understand the gift.

Today as they are all adults and moved out, we still truly enjoy them bringing friends (significant others too) over, sharing a meal, relating to the world in so many more levels now than in years gone by. What joy it can bring.

It really is a gift of life, and makes for great moments to share and remember.As my wife and I work to enjoy the passage of time, as we have come to realize that our time here on earth is short and we have come to cherish it even more. At this holiday season what we want more than anything that can be wrapped up with a bow is to embrace our “house full of love”.

For your parents out there with younger kids or adults, you will no doubt at one point or another in the next few weeks step back and take in the moment. It is the only one like it and then time moves on. Embrace it as one of the greatest gifts.

Being Together At Christmas

I can’t shake it at this time of year. The decorations in front of houses, the hustle and bustle to run to get gifts for everyone. The music that makes up the soundtrack of Christmas. Live trees for sale on the corner lot, the mall Santa’s  with the lines of kids waiting to tell him about their wishes.


It brings back a glimpse of the days so many years ago when I was in elementary school. Anticipating the time off from school, where I lived there was predictable snow and time for sledding and snowball fights. Then there was the kids program at church were we dutifully acted out the Christmas story complete with shepherds, wise men and angels. It was classic indeed- but an important part of the meaning of our celebration.

The biggest anticipation is still solid today as it was then. Family and Friends. Getting the family and friends together to celebrate Christmas is still one of the genuine things about the coming holiday. As I have gotten older, the presents mean less, the observation of the birth of our Lord means much more… but the family means more too. In a different way than when I was younger, when it was about Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents, it is about my own family. My children are grown, and they are on their own for the most part.

It’s fun to see that with their own jobs and careers they are making personal gift decisions, trying to find that “special” thing that is in their budget- but thoughtful because they chose it without parents “help” when they were young. It’s also fun to know that on Christmas morning they won’t be scrambling for the crack of dawn to find the boxes under the tree. But It will be about being together, capturing the moment. Having the special meal of the day and some time recall those funny and special times from those younger days for them.

Okay – call me sentimental. It really is about being together. About capturing the special moments. Not in a picture on Facebook, not about Twittering out short sentences about the holiday. It’s about being able to take a deep breath, take stock of our blessings, praise the Lord for his coming and being a family in the best possible way.

“Happy” Holidays

Lantern Festival ThailandEvery time about this time of year I kind of think about what’s left for the year before it’s over.

There is so much to be thankful for, and so much to reflect on. There are 2 holidays here in the US before it is all done, and it is such a great time to catch up with friends and family and celebrate life together. A time to be “happy”

No matter what you think you did this year, you can always do more. But no matter what you have you can always be thankful – Be thankful for the opportunity to be here on this Earth, reading things on the Internet, with food and water and sharing your love with your family, friends.

This time of year also means people have high expectations of what the holiday’s should bring. The idea Thanksgiving ( in the US can be a house full of food, family and football) and the picture perfect Merry Christmas. Often that ends up putting people in the most depressed sorts- when the simplest reasons to be HAPPY are just those things that “are” simple… Sometimes alone feeling abandoned, sometimes without much or anything to eat.  It takes time to remember what happiness really is. It’s not about “things” or possessions, it is about something much simpler than that. It’s about being recognized for being a human-being on this Earth who, just like everyone else, is trying to make the best of the world as it has been dealt.

So as we are spending time looking for things to be thankful for… as we wander by and wish people a “happy” holiday season. Looks like we should be aware that for some it may be hard to see it, hard to feel it, or know where happiness is. They need to know your wish is sincere, you need to know you mean it.

Happy Holiday all!

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