A Haven for Vee

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Keeping Christmas

Welcoming December first is always exciting. Sometimes good exciting and sometimes not so good exciting. This is the month when I, like so many of you, am at my busiest. My preference is that it will be exciting for all the right reasons: The Reason. To think that Jesus was willing to come to us is a profound thought.

John sometimes describes the bosses he's known on big construction jobs. One of them was a bossy boss the kind who knows what he's doing and bellows orders from his office chair. Another was a get-down-in-the-dirt with him sort of boss. He also knows what he's doing, yet when he sees that his crew needs help, he tackles the job right along with them leading the way. Jesus is that kind of a "boss." He knew that we were never going to make it on our own and He was willing to come to us and get down in the dirt with us and help us take on this task called life.

This year, for the first time, I welcome December without my mother's physical presence. It is going to be...wait for the euphemism...a challenge. Ohhhh I have my memories...she was the very best Keeper of Christmas. She loved the holidays and made her home a Christmas delight replete with all the aromas of the holiday — baking and fudge making and savory smells from her cozy kitchen. Her home smelled like a gift shoppe all cinnamony and warm. She honored the Lord and opened her home and shared her life and the more tangible aspects of it. I am still learning of all the things she did. (Until last week when I was asked to donate pies to the library bake sale, I had no idea that my mother baked three or more pies to donate each year on the day before Thanksgiving! My response? No, thanks, no time for that!)

The mantle has fallen on me. Oh dear! There has been a fair amount of fretting on my part because, you see, I have my Thanksgiving failings so fresh in my mind.

Then I am reminded of the little quote in the photo above, which I have shared more than once. I'm going to tuck in to the Lord and listen for His voice and do what He tells me to do. I think I'll be surprised. I always am.

Tonight the outside lights go on. I am celebrating the Christ of Christmas along with my neighbors and community and the world because He deserves celebrating...every day. I will not shut down and hide out because I am chafed by loss or fear; I will celebrate because, for this one brief moment of the year, most hearts are turned once more to Him. He's on people's minds, however far in the background. I will celebrate and keep Christmas as my mother and grandmother and others have done before me in the firm hope that one day we'll all be celebrating in heaven together. I will be a Keeper of Christmas.


  1. Must hop on my toes, to figure out your new posting schedule. :-))))

    "The orange-scented zephyrs stirred, the branches rustled, and the tinsel crackled like merry music, to which the sparkling lights danced."
    ~~E.T.A. Hoffman "The Nutcracker"

  2. Love your new Icon!

    "The orange-scented zephyrs stirred, the branches rustled, and the tinsel crackled like merry music, to which the sparkling lights danced."
    ~~E.T.A. Hoffman "The Nutcracker"

  3. Lovely post, Dear One.

    So happy that you have chosen to honor/remember your Mother, by doing as she liked to do. In your own way, of course. None of us, is a clone of another, no matter how much we might (think) we want to be.

    And how else would she want you to ride with this first Dec., without her? Would she want you to shut down in "missing"? Of course not!

    I look forward to drifting through this December, with you... And with all my Dear Blogging Friends... While we Keep Our Own Christmas Holidays... Some different from others perhaps... But all striving to have and share Joy, Warmth, Peace, Love and Hugs.

    Gentle hugs,
    "The orange-scented zephyrs stirred, the branches rustled, and the tinsel crackled like merry music, to which the sparkling lights danced."
    ~~E.T.A. Hoffman "The Nutcracker"

  4. Oh Vee. this was just lovely. You are the Keeper of Christmas, and what a wonderful title. Wear it with pride. With love from the creaking one.

  5. Hi Vee~

    What a beautiful post . . . just lovely.

    I think it's wonderful that you have all those wonderful, sweet memories of your mom! She sounds like the kind of mom all girls, and women need in their lives - one who gently lead, and taught you to be the woman you are today. I would like to be the kind of mother, your mother was! I love that you are keeping Christ, in Christmas, and I love the quote . . . I think I just got a glimpse of the "Spirit of Christmas"!

    Gentle Hugs,

  6. I love the songs of this time of year for as much as the world tries to make it all secular, the favorite old Christmas music still talks about HIM.

    Your mother sounds like such a dear. I think I caught my love of Christmas from my mom. We laugh and say she never completely grew up, she had a childlike quality about her and it was never more evident than at Christmas.

    She's been gone since the mid-90s and I still miss her so much it hurts at times.

  7. It's not easy having the torch passed down to you, is it? :)
    I understand.
    This will be a difficult Christmas but, you have the grands, they will keep it fun. And you are such a wonderful Grandmother that I know you will rise to the challenge of becoming the "Keeper of Christmas" now. :)


  8. Such beautiful words from your heart, Vee. I love the way you are focusing on Christ - whose birthday we celebrate. And I love that you are the Keeper of Christmas - a role that is honorable and memorable.

  9. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about being a Keeper of Christmas.


  10. May I invite myself to be a keeper with you. As I mentioned in one of my comments about how long we have been following you I remember you mom and gran too. I am not sure if you are the oldest girl in your family of orgine but if so we are alike in that we now the Maternal Head of this family. Our job is to carry on all the Traditions as in Fiddler on the Roof. Blessings.

  11. Hi Vee. I love this post. You are being honest and open - sharing your faith and your sorrow too. In the book "Boundaries" I have learned it's okay to say "no". If you can't do it - don't do it. Don't do something for someone because you feel you have to for whatever reason. I believe you have learned that already but don't feel guilty either. God bless you my friend!
    Hugs, Pamela

  12. Oh, P.S. I love your new blog page. Beautiful! :)

  13. A "Keeper of Christmas"! I like the sound of that!

  14. The loss of a loved one is always dearly felt around the holidays, Vee, so I know you will miss your Mom and grandmother so much this Christmas. I think they would want you to keep Christmas in your heart, however, especially for your grandchildren. It is good to keep the memories alive and pass them on to them. {{ hugs}}

  15. Beautiful! I am sorry about your mother...we were watching a special on the tornado that hit us/area in April. A man came on tv & I commented that was our ice cream man (he has a delivery route) who bought our old house. It bought me to tears when my husband (he chaplained the man)told me his wife died in the tornado when the house was destroyed. I had no idea. Then the man came on and told the story how he tried to hang on to her...how sad. I am so melencoly this time of the year. ANYWAYS--enough of my gabbing...yes, my dear friend..one day...we will be in heaven with our loved ones who went on before us. Blessings

  16. Just returned home and had to check your blog. I'm so glad I did. You always remind me (in such a lovely way) to keep our thoughts on what Christ wants of us. Thank you!

  17. What a beautiful post!!
    So many wonderful memories you have and like you said one day you will all be together again. I'll be there with you too. : )

  18. Your mother would be proud of this post. Beautiful.

  19. Don't we all keep a little Christmas in us all year long? I know I do. You will have no problem carrying on the Christmas traditions your mother did. You just may do them a little differently. You are her Christmas Keeper.

  20. Dearest Vee,

    I am so glad that inspite of loss and challenge, you are still a keeper of Christmas. I am thinking that we keepers of Christmas don't have to be alike, nor do you have to keep Christmas exactly like your precious Mother did. No failings, just your own way....

    Glad to call you friend!

  21. Vee this post gave me goose bumps. I'm hoping that our Son's think of me the way that you think of your Mum. My Mum is still with us and loves Christmas, but she is not one to decorate or bake much. but she is the reason that I am a Keeper of Christmas - and why I know the true meaning of Christmas.

    I remember many posts where you talked about your Mum and Nan. Wonderful memories to be sure.


  22. BTW - I knew that you would come over to the bright side:)

  23. This is a beautiful post, Vee. I love the quote. My mother loved Christmas like yours and I still miss her even tho she's been gone nearly 35 years. She always hosted the family Christmas and I do the same even though the family isn't very big now. Some traditions are just meant to be. A Keeper of Christmas...Yes!!

  24. Oh, Vee, is it okay to say that this is my favorite post here at your Haven? Since I only met you here in October, I suppose that it's a bit premature to choose a favorite...but your words here are so beautiful, so poignant, so moving, so full of love.
    I am sorry that you are celebrating without your mother this year, just as I am sorry that my dear husband is celebrating without his father who passed away in July. As I wrote out a Christmas card to his mother this evening...leaving off Dad's name for the first time in the 33 years that Ron and I have been married...I wept. Grief comes in such unexpected ways, doesn't it? You just never know when it will sneak up on you in a different form.
    I will pray for you as I think of you this season. I just know that you will be a good Keeper of Christmas.

    In Him,
    Cheryl (who does not at all mind being added to your blogroll!!)

  25. Vee,
    I always enjoy your writing, but this one, this post is so from your heart, that it made me cry. But in a good way. You are one of the most beautiful people I have met in this Land of Blog. Always fun, always new ideas and fun little stories.

    Your post is beautiful, you will be the best Keeper of Christmas. I love you Vee.

    Your blog looks so gorgeous for Christmas too. Thank you for being you.


  26. Yes, Vee, keep it, as He leads you, as your mother and grandmother did, cherish their traditions and their beloved memories, but do it in your own way without anxiety, fear, or real or imagined standards of perfection. Have a blessed month.
    Praying for you,

  27. Vee, I am trying to contain my emotions as to get this comment printed! I am sending a big hug,to you right now.
    The quote should be the cry of all of our hearts always. As I leave today, I know it will be mine.
    The second boss you described, is my kind of boss, what a great analogy! I have a "Boss" just like that.

    Your description of your Mother fits my mother to a tee. She is a "Keeper of Christmas" too....

    The mantel could not have fallen on a more capable person, God always knows who He can trust with His work, I can just see your Mother and Nan, looking down while Christ Himself rolls back the curtain and they are both cheering you on. The mantel looks great on you!

    You are and have always been such an inspiration to me and I believe to so many others here in blogland.
    Like I said, God knows who He can trust with His work.
    This post is one of my favorite!! I could go on and on,... but will give others a chance!
    Your thoughts in the last paragraph are my sentiments as well. I like the title"A Keeper of Christmas."
    Much love,

  28. Vee, I didn't buy the tree and the candlestick together. If it is the same tree, it has the round bottom with kinda a "lip"...it is exactly the size of a pillar candle holder. Try any you have...I thought of it last year!

  29. Beautifully written!

    By the way, I love the cookie cutter garland valance! SO cute!

    Happy Christmas!

  30. I know exactly what you mean. Exactly, Love you much my dear Vee

  31. Love that phrase "tuck in to the Lord" I also like the words on the photo up top. I also will be a Keeper of Christmas...
    Blessings and comfort on you as you enter this new season without your mom...

  32. Yes! I'll "Amen" that last paragraph! We are the generation to create the memories now! Let's keep passing down the blessings wherewith we ourselves were blessed, grateful for the heritage that we possess! Your mother sounds like an incredible lady, gifted much like my own sweet mother. (wonder if they now have met?) A Keeper of Christmas! I like that!


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