....... by Bill Hudson
Like all of you, our family just celebrated another Christmas. However, this Christmas was like no other. And, for better or worse, my reflections of the celebration have been profoundly different.
Our Hudson family is large with eight grown children and 20 grandchildren ranging in age from one to 20. Although our youngest daughter Sarah and her family live in the Seattle area, the rest live within 25 miles. Understandably, our house has always been the center of festive Christmas activities. Sarah’s family would fly in from Seattle. We’d host the family Kris Kringle exchange between all the grandkids and share Christmas Eve dinner. Then, families departed for church and their homes where the kids awaited Santa. I’ve always had my snow machine blowing a storm of bubbles off the front balcony to a herd of screaming, laughing grandkids below. Christmas morning, after the children had opened all their gifts at home, families reunited at my daughter Kim’s house for a pancake breakfast. We’ve also held many Hudson Family Talent Shows in our living room during the week following Christmas.
This year was different. Sarah remained in Seattle. The kids’ KK exchange was via Zoom meeting. There was no large family dinner, no snow machine, no pancake breakfast, and few risked church services. We had many Facetime calls, but no hugs. We were visited by individual families, but all with masks during short visits. Thankfully, none of our immediate family had caught the virus, but we all know and pray for those who have. The morning paper is filled daily with stories of hardship and sorrow.
In the past, it was the family, together, joyously celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. This year, the family was separated, and I reflected on God differently. I questioned what good may come out of this pandemic. I thought more about the suffering of others, the need for empathy, and the support our family provides each other.
Two days before Christmas, my 5-year-old grandson, Tanner, said something at our kitchen table I will never forget. He looked up from his breakfast and casually began pointing to each of us while saying, “Ya know what I love in this house. I love you (pointing to his sister), and I love you (pointing to his cousin), and I love you (pointing to his mom), and I love Grandma (who was putting out the trash), and I love you (pointing to me), and I love myself.” Then he just went back to eating. His mom, Liz, and I looked at each other speechless. I thought, “It took me over 60 years be able to say that. And even then, I had some doubt.”
Maybe this Christmas provided the opportunity to look inward and appreciate how much we strengthen each other.
Wishing You A Happy New Year and a Year of Recovery,