An Open Letter to My Mom: a Christmas Gift of Gratitude


Candles In Terracotta PotsDear Mom,

Today I made Christmas cookies all by myself for the first time in my life. Em is sick, so I could not get together with Gen and the girls to do it. I was worried it would make me sad. But instead, I was so blessed.

First I put on Christmas music. I heard some of the Perry Como songs you used to play when I was a child, John Denver’s Christmas songs from my young adult years, a song from Alabama’s Christmas album from the year my life almost fell apart, and Celine Dion’s “The Prayer” from the year I met David, the year I prayed and prayed the song could be for us, that God would bring us together and guide our lives. And He did!

It was like a soundtrack to all my Christmases. And there I was baking the cookies you baked with Troy and I as kids, the cookies I baked with my kids, and my granddaughters, and I just felt this string of connection, by engaging in that simple activity, running through all the years of my life. And I wasn’t lonely at all, just incredibly grateful.

God has been so good to me—starting with you and Dad, and all our family, in the gift of my wonderful and beloved children, in blessing me with David—a man who loves me, looks out for my safety and well-being, and shares my faith!

Thank you so much for your loving commitment to Troy, Elesa, and I, and for giving us roots and traditions. Genny and I held our craft party Saturday and made ornaments with the girls, just like you and Marie did for us kids. I look at my Christmas tree with its abundance of lights, beads, and homemade and specially selected ornaments, just like the trees I knew as a child, and I feel blessed. I listen to the songs of Christmas, and my heart overflows with gratitude.

I pray you and Jim have a wonderful Christmas. I love you very much!


Is your advent season crazy? Are you overwhelmed with things to do? Does the idea of setting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) feel like a selfish indulgence? Are you still struggling to find that perfect gift for someone you love?

Take a deep breath. Take a few seconds to just be in the moment you are in. Then free the words that are inside you. Capture your life. Capture your blessings. And maybe craft that gift that no one else can give using simply words on paper.

God bless you this Christmas and all through the new year!

*Image: Deposit Photos_11466436_original