Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
Monday night, my sister texted that “Love Actually” was on TV. Second time this season. What a great movie! All about LOVE. And it includes the song “All I Want for Christmas” in the soundtrack. I cannot believe this is the first year I have seen this movie. Where have I been all these years? I have now seen it twice and will watch it again if possible. Definitely recommend it.
I have been tearing up the road lately! And loving the lower gas prices. Last week, I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Maryland, Thursday in NC, came back to Virginia on Friday just to head back to NC on Sunday. But I am loving every minute of each special trip. Speaking of love, this past Sunday was the 3rd Sunday in Advent, in which the Hope (1st Sunday), Peace (2nd Sunday), and the Love (3rd Sunday) candles were lit. Love… doesn’t this word give you a warm fuzzy feeling? I LOVED this past Sunday and felt that warm fuzzy feeling! All of the people I love most in this world, except for my son-in-law who had dawg duty, were together at my older sister’s house – Mom, my sisters, my brother-in-law, my nephew and his family, my 3 kids, and my son’s girlfriend. We celebrated our Holcomb family Christmas, laughing, eating, spending time together, and being entertained by Jack. So much fun and so much love! Next year Jack’s little sister will be with us! What a wonderful afternoon followed by the most special church service of the season – the Moravian Candlelight Lovefeast. Lovefeast, you ask? Oh yes. The service begins with Christmas hymns, then they serve a Moravian bun and Moravian coffee (brewed with cream and sugar – only time I drink coffee all year!). We all say the Moravian blessing together and enjoy the bun and coffee while the choirs sing, followed by the most special part of the service – the lighting of the candles. Our church makes all of the candles out of beeswax (representing the purity of Christ) and trim them in red crepe paper (representing the blood of Christ). Of course, the lighted candle represents Christ as the “Light of the World,” and during the last verse of the last hymn, we all stand and raise our lighted candles. What a beautiful sight to behold! Talk about a warm fuzzy feeling… Oh how I love this service – it would not be Christmas without it. I loved being a Moravian again (I’m a Presbyterian in VA). And it was worth getting home after midnight, especially having so much time in the car with my daughters. And I’m thankful for that Moravian coffee to keep me awake!
“May the light that entered the world that night cast its brilliance into the deepest corners of our souls this Christmas, giving us peace on earth of which the angels spoke so long ago.” Randy Kilgore
As I ended my last blog, I was setting off on another fun adventure, and what fun it was! Last Thursday I drove to Charlotte and met my son and his roommate (whose birthday it was) at their apartment. We walked several blocks to the Charlotte Panthers’ Stadium where my son’s girlfriend met us so that we could take a tour of the stadium, an event offered by one of our large vendors. Because my son lives in Charlotte and we are all Panthers’ fans, I immediately took advantage of this offer. Oh my gosh what fun that was! Toured and learned so much about the Panthers, the 75,525-seat stadium, the locker rooms, the press boxes, the field, the “TopCats” locker room, everything Panther! The concourse is half a mile. The 2 video boards are each 55 feet tall and 198 feet wide! Imagine being on that Jumbotron! Loved every minute of it! And afterwards we walked to a local bar where we were treated to cocktails and appetizers. SO. MUCH. FUN. Loved spending time with my son (my favorite guy), his girlfriend, and his roommate.
“Family… today’s little moments become tomorrow’s precious memories.”
Left Charlotte and headed to Winston-Salem. Stopped by Mom’s, hoping she would still be awake and I could surprise her, and luckily, there she was, in her PJ’s with her friends just chatting at the nurses station. “Well look who is here – my daughter! Hey Les!” Oh those sweet words warmed my heart! And funny thing is, the caregiver told me Mom had just said she was not quite ready to go to bed. A mother’s intuition to wait up? I believe! Spent the night at my sister’s and left VERY early Friday morning heading back to Charlottesville and directly to work!
“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” Desmond Tutu
Today I am back in NC, spending the day baking with my Mom and my sisters, using Mom’s Christmas recipes. We are making several traditional Holcomb Christmas sweets – fudge, peanut butter balls, molasses crinkles, and thumbprints cookies. Lots of sisterly love and fun. I know Mom is loving being here, surrounded by her girls, and rolling a thousand peanut butter balls!
“Mothers hold their children’s hands for short while, but their hearts forever.”
This Friday is the Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year. Did you know that it is 5 hours and 50 minutes shorter than the Summer Solstice in June?!? That is almost 6 fewer hours of sunlight! BUT… I love this day because it means that we will now begin adding 1 minute of light every day! And those minutes add up… quickly. More light… just like the candles in the Candlelight Lovefeast. This is a time we can be a light for others. Share your light with those who need it most. Your light will shine brighter for it.
“There are two ways of spreading light… to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Edith Wharton
So y’all, this time next week another Christmas will have come and gone. My children, who are spending Christmas with me, will have returned to their homes. Life will settle back down a bit. But in the meantime, I plan to enjoy and love every special minute of this holiday season. Treasure the time spent with my kids, family, and friends, and remember the reason we celebrate Christmas.
“It’s not what’s under the tree that matters, it’s who is around it.”
I wish for each of you a blessed Christmas with much love and happiness. Cherish the love of family and friends, and make sure you share this love and your light, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.
PS Could not end without this past week’s Sweater collection! HO HO HO! Enjoy!