We have often taken trips during the Christmas holidays to visit family and friends or to take a year end vacation. But this year, 2019, was a doozie.
Marcia and I, along with our daughter Emily and our 7-month-old grandson, Miles, went to Germany to be with our son-in-law, Shad.
Shad is in the Army presently stationed in Baumholder on the western border near Luxembourg. He was able to get some time off and only had to report for duty for a few days during our stay.
What a great time we had, together as a family, celebrating Christmas in Germany. Highlights included the Christmas Market at Nuremburg, the Silent Night Memorial near Salzburg, a snowball fight in the Alps, the castles at Neuschwanstein, taking the waters at Baden-Baden, staying in medieval Rothenburg, and wine tasting in the tiny village of Eckelsheim.
We also got to visit our German exchange student Alex, her boyfriend and many of their relatives. They all treated us like family as they shared their traditions of celebrating the holidays.
The day after Christmas, we took Shad back to his base to report for duty. While there, the proud father got to introduce his new son to his Army buddies. Miles was a big hit, as many were missing their own children back home.
Even though baby Miles probably won’t remember his first trip abroad, we certainly will. At the huge Christmas store in Rothenburg, Emily found a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament that she purchased and had them put baby’s name and date on it. From now on, there will be a special German ornament on the family Christmas tree and a great story to go with it.
2 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
As we pack and plan for holiday journeys, near or far, keep us safe and help us to nurture the ties that bind. Watch over all whom we will visit, face to face or virtually, and help us to make marvelous memories under the light of the star of Bethlehem. Amen.
~ John Eycleshimer