..... Have your parents fly 2200 miles to be with your family for Christmas!
Two weeks ago today we celebrated the much-anticipated arrival of my Mom and Dad. In almost 10 years of marriage, we have never shared Christmas together at our house, and so this was the year. And a wonderful visit it was.
The boys were thrilled to have Grandma and Grandpa (who is affectionately known as 'Toast-and-Eggs-Grandpa', or simply 'Toast and Eggs', a nickname #2 son gave Grandpa when he was about 3 years old--a descriptive name for Dad's usual breakfast!--to distinguish between my dad and their other grandpa) here for two whole weeks. We did lots of the usual Christmas-y things, all of which was a bit better this year just because they were with us.
We made cut-out cookies and fudge, listened to songs of Christmas by various singers from Dean Martin to The Chipmunks. We watched Christmas shows--The Polar Express remains at the top of our list. It's hard to choose my favorite part of that movie, but the Hot Chocolate number is right up there! We enjoyed the Christmas smells by way of simmering Spiced Cranberry drink (and though I leave off the alcohol in this one, we always refer to it as, simply, 'grog') and festive Yankee candles--Red Berry and Cedar is the best I've smelled yet!
And of course most importantly of all, we attended Holy Mass together, which is still a special blessing, knowing my folks--at then-ages 70 and 71--only just came into the Church at Easter '06.
Taking Mom and Dad away from the rest of my extended family for Christmas is something I didn't do lightly, knowing how my brothers and their families would miss them. So I appreciate their temporary loss, which was our joyful gain this time.
And so today we said good-bye. Again. It never gets easy to have 2200 miles separating us, and the farewell hugs are always the ones we don't want to give. But we thank Our loving Lord that we were brought together one more time, and look forward to the next embrace. Hopefully the time between will fly as quickly as did these past two weeks.