For the first time in 2 1/2 years, our whole family -Sue, me, our three girl and one son-in-law - were all together for a few days this Christmas. It started with our youngest, Rose, coming home from collge between semesters in mid December. She had actually been home for a full week just at Thanksgiving. That week she brought her boyfriend, Temi, but for Christmas he went home to Houston. In truth, our Christmas season started with that first visit. Sue, Rose, Temi and I cut down our Christmas tree at a local farm, and got the house all decked out for the upcoming holidays. And what a Christmas we had.
Our middle daughter, Naomi, drove up from New York on the 23rd, and we all stayed up late playing games and, as usual, laughing til it hurt!
Jona-Lynn and Sam, our oldest and her husband, flew in from Austin and arrived at the Portland Jetport at 10 PM Christmas Eve. Rose and I went to meet them after our evening church service, and this allowed some rare alone time for me and my youngest. She's quite a young lady, and she is handling being in love for the first time very maturely. But I have to wonder, what is it with the Hagerstrom girls and Texas men?
After we got Jo and Sam home, the fun really began. The common theme for gifts this Christmas was games, and we exchanged a lot! Since we were again unable to do our traditional Christmas hospital visit, we spent the next two days playing a wide variety of games. And the food! Sue's French Canadian pork pie, a waffle bar one breakfast, jambalaya (which was actually left over form my birthday dinner on the 22nd), and much more.
Naomi headed back to New York, but the others stayed. In fact, they are still here for a few days, and Rose, Jo and Sam have been skiing all day today and have still not left the mountain! Sam also was treated to his first snowmobile ride by a friend from our church, and, of course, the games continue whenever there is a slow moment. They will head back to Texas on New Years day, and it will be just Rose with us here for a couple more weeks.
A few words about gifts. In addition to games, I got an i-tunes card to add music for my show onto my new i-pod, three new magic tricks- two of which I already have a Gospel application for, a folding cart for transporting props into shows, and a dove harness. This is exactly what it sounds like: a harness and leash on which I can take my doves out into the yard and lt them have exercise and fresh air. It will also make using them in outdoor shows possible.
And now I am sitting contentedly with the Christmas tree lit before me, so proud of a family that may not see each other as often as we'd like, but who love and enjoy each other to the fullest. For that I am forever grateful.