Christmas will come and go. Guess what, it will go and by New Years the gifts that you stressed over will not be as important as you thought. Many Christmas's I open my presents with some guilt, because I did not give as much as I recieved. I feel really bad, I mean really bad, that I did not spend as much as someone did on me. Then I realize that really it is the thought that counts. I pay attention to the things that people like. Everyone has a favorite animal or character. Thinking of this helps make the gift personal. Who said a gift can't come from a yardsale or thrift store. There are used items on Ebay that people sale at yardsales for a dollar. Giving nothing is ok too. My grandmother told all of us several years before she died that she just could not buy for us anymore. She was older and wanted to make it without the financial help many elderly eventually face. She did not buy us gifts, but cooked us meals that were worth much more. The laughter that I have shared with my family over the years is worth much more than a shirt, perfume or doo-dad. I did always go way too far with my girls. The end of the year became a money worry that I brought upon myself. They have wonderful memories I am sure. The memories are more of the tree we went to cut or the crunched up carrots that I put in the yard, making them believe that they had munched them before they took off into the night sky. Watching Its a Wonderful Life every Christmas Eve. Well, they say they have seen it too many times now. I will mark that one off as one of their favorites. The visits that were made on Holidays are a memory they still talk about. Halloween to them was a journey from one end of the county to the other, just because I wanted to show off the costumes that I had made them. Taking the time to see family and people you love that is what makes our lives better.
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Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. Christmas will come and go no matter if we are still here to celebrate. This morning as I looked at the deaths in the Times Daily I noticed three people that I knew in the four pages in December 14th paper. The greatest part of deaths in our immediate family have been during the holidays. Often I think that I can't do visit someone due to some lame reason. Then today of the deaths in the paper I am going to go to the funeral of one and stop by visitation of the other. I am not attending both funerals because they are at the same time. The time of day is at my advantage because I am using my lunch break to whiz by. It seems that taking the time to visit loved one's becomes less important than we think. Back in the day, my grandmother did not drive, but made an effort to visit her brothers, sisters and even uncles and aunts. She mapped out a route to Florence that we as children could drive her to their houses. She wanted to see her loved ones badly enough to ride with my brother and I when we had to sit on a pillow to see to drive. The way we went to Florence from Lexington was country roads most of the way. She made sure we did not have to get on major highways. Jackson Highway, across Happy Hollow was a journey we took often. She could visit her sister that lived on Jackson Highway, then on to her other sister that lived next to Stoney Point Chruch. Her brother lived in Killen. We did not visit him as much, because one time his wife would not let us in. She was one of those people that Grandmother said had nerve problems. She said this to not call her crazy, which was what I know she meant. One time we went they had put up a chain link fence, with a locked gate. This was a major issue to my grandmother. She traced up and down in front of that gate until her brother finally came out to see what she wanted. The conversation they had was him explaining why wife of his Mary wanted the gate. He never did invite his sister in the gate; we just left and drove on to visit the sisters. In those days there was not as much traffic on the way and she would not have put us in danger. The worst that really could have happened was we hit the ditch. She did not let us drive fast enough for running in a ditch to do much damage. We did not ever loose it and run in a ditch, but backing out of driveways we did run in the ditch sometimes. After doing this a couple of times she had us to pull the car in the yard facing out, so we did not have to back; we just pulled out forward and headed back to Lexington. I am sure this is one of the reasons so many people loved my grandmother. She visited and helped. She was visited and helped in return. During Christmas remembering who and what is important, before it is gone is something I am making note of today. There still will be Christmas even if we aren't here to celebrate.