As I looked back through the kaleidoscope of my life and the memories of seventy-five Christmases I realized that my favorite things were not so much “things” as they were people. The childhood gatherings of twenty-five to as many as forty relatives from either my father’s family or that of my maternal grandmother are still fond memories of joining with all the others, both adults and children from infants to the ninety plus “greats”. Later years brought smaller get togethers as the older generations passed on to the Church Triumphant and the younger ones moved to distant locales, but the gatherings continued. As a young adult they were further condensed as we married and acquired in-laws and the new families often took precedence, but we still had as many as twenty most ears. Now there are only two left from the parents’ generation and we have added children, grandchildren and even some “greats” and the group is pretty small, but it is still my favorite thing.
~ Elaine Dustin
God of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekkah, Jacob and Rachel, we give You thanks for generations of our families, for the special times we have enjoyed –births, holidays, graduations, weddings, and even promotions to our eternal home. You ordained us to live in community and that first community is our family. Help us to appreciate all those who are dearly beloved whether by blood or adoption, and whether on earth or in heaven. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.