November 3, 2019 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

A Special Time of Year

The holidays! I find myself thinking of holidays past when my family was all here, and the children were young. I think about the stages of life.

In the beginning Christmas Eve was reserved for our family only—Raymond, R.L., Todd, Brad, Tyler, and me.

Then the boys married and their beautiful wives shared the festivities with us. Soon there were grandbabies, who became teenagers, then adults—and suddenly the Christmas Eve celebration of just our immediate family became 19 people.

When our family was young we celebrated Christmas Day at our home with some extended family members, including Ray’s sister Anna Marie, brother-in-law Ves, and their family of five, with the cousins enjoying Christmas together.

This was followed by an event the Sunday after Christmas when we got together with my side of the family, the Cases—my parents, sisters Jacque and Barbara, and their families. We alternated between our house and the house of Jacque and her husband, Bill.

There was always a lot of activity, fitting in family celebrations, entertainment with friends, and employee parties. What busy and happy times!

Next, my sons and their wives hosted beautiful celebrations for our now-large family. How nice to be a guest! I look forward to spending time with my family that can be here and sharing holiday cheer with friends.

Christmas will now be different without Tyler and Raymond. And some of the grandchildren are married and have additional families they will spend time with. There are no great-grandchildren this year, but I anticipate that will be the next experience to look forward to in this journey of life.

Enjoy your family and friends, hold them close, and have a wonderful holiday season.


This letter first appeared in the November/December 2019 edition of 60PLUS in Omaha MagazineTo receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Contributing editor 60Plus Gwen Lemke

Contributing editor 60Plus Gwen Lemke