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Talking it over - The season has arrived

Just a few short days until Christmas is here. I hope you have all your shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating and visiting complete. Now it is time to think about entertaining, preparing meals, attending services and for some, traveling to relatives.

I have most of the things listed above completed and am anxious for the family to arrive on Christmas Day. It will be busy, noisy, and chaotic but totally fun. I can't wait to watch the little ones open their gifts and see the joy on their faces.

Each year as the family gathers, I take a few minutes to think about those who are not with us this year. I miss my parents a lot at Christmas but I am so glad as brothers and sisters we still make an effort to get together. I am sure my mom and dad would be proud of us for taking a few hours out of the busy holidays to spend time together. It gives us the opportunity to catch up with the growing family and get to know each other just a little better. It also is a great time for making new memories and reminiscing on the times spent with our parents and grandparents.

There is one particular memory that has been coming to me a lot lately. It involves my grandma, Kate Van Eps, and her final years living at the Villa, now West Wind Village. Each Christmas we would go and spend some time with her and as we visited, quite often she would start to sing Christmas Carols or recite Bible verses, sometimes in Dutch. We recorded this once and it is a precious keepsake even though it is on VCR tape so it can only be played in certain locations.

I miss her and many other relatives who will be spending Christmas in Heaven this year. In their honor I plan to have a very happy Christmas and keep some of their traditions going. I probably won't be reciting any Bible verses in Dutch but I could sing a few Christmas carols with my grandkids. However, the best way I can think of to honor these people I loved so much is to attend the church services they held of upmost importance at this time of year and celebrate the real reason for the season.