Picturing Love

We went to the midnight service on Christmas Eve and the one on Christmas morning. If I had photos to share, they would show ordinary people gathered to worship God. We are common people loved by our extraordinary God. Sharing faith draws us together to love each other. What a celebration we have every year, because God sent his son to become one of us!

I hope our love shines through photos taken at home, beginning with Sadie, who had an immediate attachment to her new chew toy.

John and grandson David handed out gifts from under the tree. This was the best photo of the tree this year. Decorating the tree was a labor of love, one that I always leave entirely to John.

Son John $pencer held Sadie as Rose put treats in the dog’s main Christmas gift. That kept Sadie busy for the rest of the morning.

Family and neighbor friends watched the flaming of the Christmas pudding, a show we always enjoy. Our neighbors are very special, and we were blessed that half of our favorites could be with us. The others had family activities elsewhere.

John $, Rose, Marla, David, John
John, Dawn, Jeff, and Connie watching the flame. Pumpkin roll waits patiently.

For the foodies: We had baked Brie with crackers, spinach dip with chips, a casserole of chicken and stuffing, frozen cranberry salad, glazed carrots, broccoli with Hollandaise sauce, homemade rolls (not tasty at all) Jell-o cottage cheese salad, Connie’s delicious pumpkin roll, and Christmas pudding with hard sauce.

Food and Mirth of Christmas

Christmas is a time we often gather around the table to celebrate with family and friends, so there are an inordinate number of foodie photos. On the Fourth Sunday of Advent we went to a Japanese steakhouse after church. The chef was home-grown. He had lived in the town next to us and learned to cook when he was a dishwasher at a Japanese restaurant in Asheville. We laughed through the delicious meal.


There are natural and flash photos to show John’s Christmas tree. No one could be more meticulous in the placing of lights and ornaments to make it a work of art.


Grandson Nathaniel cooked a festive dinner for us on Christmas Eve. David worked all afternoon at Burger King, joining us in time to eat part of the meal. He finished in the car on the way to the 11 pm service.

122418 Nathaniel cooked our festive meal.JPG

For the foodies: We savored roast pork with a sauce, roasted asparagus, and baked sweet potato.

The service was beautiful. Midnight is not the high point in a day for me, but I stayed

122418 Our church at 11 pm Christmas Eve
Our church at 11 pm Christmas Eve

awake and thought the message good. This was the fifth year for me to celebrate not being on the organ bench – a benchmark of sorts.






A few days before, I pressed the boys for suggestions of something Santa might bring them. David agreed to a quick shopping trip, but Nathaniel wouldn’t play the game. He said, “I need a toilet bowl brush for the dorm, but I don’t want Santa to bring it.”

What would you have done with nothing else to go on???

Nathaniel was not awake when the rest of us looked at our gifts from Santa. We stood around watching him with his stocking. He posed with a bag of chocolates and set of measuring cups, not looking down at the floor again. He seemed to be studiously avoiding the toilet bowl cleaner.

122518 Nate unaware of toilet brush.jpg

I asked, “Nathaniel, are you going to look at the other thing Santa brought?”

“What? Oh, no!!!” he said, as he keeled over with laughter. “I didn’t see that!”

122518 Nate breaks up laughing.JPG

After that, he wore the toilet brush proudly.

122518 Nate wears toilet brush proudly.JPG

Neighbor Connie made Christmas stockings for all of us this year. Aren’t they lovely? We were very touched and pleased with these gifts from the heart.


Nathaniel took it one step further and tried his on without touching the floor.. He said it was perfect, but it could have had a bit more toe room.


After the 10 am service on Christmas Day, neighbors Dawn and Jeff shared our traditional family dinner. I took a photo as the flame from the pudding died down. Logan was with us for only a few minutes of the day, but that was fitting. We consider him neighbor, family, and friend.

122518 John Logan David Jeff Dawn Nathaniel.JPG
John, Logan, David, Jeff, Dawn, Nathaniel

Foodies: We had the Chicken and Stuffing casserole, cranberry sauce from a 100 year-old recipe, peas, lemon-lime Jell-o salad, frozen cranberry salad, Christmas pudding, Lebkuchen, and coffee.

The four of us had at least one gift each under the tree, and we opened them around 9 pm. The last photo of the day shows John with his new shower curtain. Daughter Lise helped me locate it on line, and it arrived on Christmas Eve. As Nathaniel held it up, John began to tell us about the name of the engine and much of its history. That was much more information than the manufacturer provided.


Merry Christmas from our house to yours!