Monday, December 25, 2017

Mom Saved Christmas ~ Christmas 2017 Part 2

Mom was determined to buy and mail her gifts to Alaska. She didn't make it. I found gifts and a list...and I finished wrapping them. Alaska Air allows residents 2 free suitcases and we had brought an extra suitcase down. We filled them with gifts and carried them back with us. 

The only thing under our tree this year on Christmas Day were the gifts from mom. It was a bittersweet year for me. I couldn't help think how mom would have loved being here to see Bella tear into packages. She would have loved to hug and play with Gideon and Benny.  Mom LOVED Christmas. She had a collection of over 200 nativities. She shopped year round. I kept reminding  myself she was with Jesus on Christmas....and that "everyone" says the first holiday's are the hardest. This was also Michael's first Christmas without his Mom.   I don't usually post a lot of photos of gifts on the blog, but we'll want to remember these. 

Our poor, poor tree. 
 Bella LOVED the ribbons

Mom (with the help of Kathy Hammer) made a lovely quilt for Benny. 

Gideon got one too. 

Bella received a Disney princess book - with an inscription about reading it together. ::sniff:: 

Izaak got a little communion set

The "boys" (which would include Jared) all got some sort of screwdriver tool thing

Alex got a wallet

Stacia received a magnetic holder for nuts and bolts - which works great for sewing pins. 

Nolan is our game and puzzle master

Michael got the leaf puzzle 

Bre,  Krista, Larissa and Arielle got glass jars - which Lorri had painted with flowers 

Mom also saved boxes all year for her gift giving; Arielle's was a box for  her prosthesis

I opened mine last. I had no idea what it would be, but I knew it may cause me to cry and didn't want to ruin the night. We flew back from Japan when the girls graduated from Bible College. We rented a house on the OR Coast and took them, the 7 of us that were still at home, Mom and Dad and maybe the older boys, to the coast. We had a great time playing games, visiting, and sight-seeing together. It's a fun memory. I was looking for a gift to take to Akiko-san. I fell in love with a tie-dye sweat shirt in a small store at the coast. I bought one for her and one for me - so she "wouldn't' be the only one in Japan wearing one."  In 2015, my sweat shirt was stolen from the shower house at an RV park. I have looked for another, but couldn't find one. Mom found one at a store on the Oregon Coast when she was there with Nate and Heather.

The story came out that she had called both Bre and Krista about the size (it's really roomy - which is how I like my sweat shirts) and then someone told her that wearing it would signify I was part of the alternative scene. She almost didn't give it to me, but they convinced her I knew that before and  I loved my shirt. I'm glad they did.  And, yes, this happened.

It's an unflattering picture but it's such a picture of what is going on around here still (22 Jan). Happy memories, followed by tears.  Because of Mom's careful planning, and year round shopping, we made it through our first Christmas without her.

She is NEVER in Gideon's swing....but she was tuckered out and there she is. LOL 

The guys began putting "the puzzle" together. 

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