And here is a letter I wrote to distant family members; I have always admired those who managed to write annual Christmas letters, so I thought I would give it a try. But, I think perhaps it’s just not “my thing.”
It seems like Christmas just comes around quicker and quicker every year, doesn’t it? I can’t believe how fast the years are flying by – or that this will be Dalton’s 10th Christmas already; how did that happen?
This year has been full of changes and we have had some difficult challenges. As you know, we lost my mother early this past year; we will be feeling that loss for a long time to come. Dalton adored his grandma but has been adjusting remarkably well. I know we will miss her on Christmas.
This year also is landmark for Dalton with his dad moving to the area after being absent for many years. Dalton is very pleased that his dad will now be a regular part of his life. He will be dividing up his time this Christmas between spending time with his dad and being with me for our traditional Christmas activities. I am very happy for Dalton and hope that he receives many blessings from having his dad involved in his life. There will be some adjustments, but so far we are doing fine.
Dalton is in the 4th Grade this year and doing great: He has advanced to 5th Grade Reading, is on the Honor Roll, and has been invited to take part in the District-wide “GATE” program which is aimed at providing an enriched learning experience for “Gifted and Talented” kids. I am very proud him – not only for his academic achievement but for the fact that he gets along with everyone and has many good friends! He is my pride and joy and I am eternally blessed to have such a great kid.
I have been doing pretty well myself. I am still lucky enough to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of working at home doing the bookkeeping, typing, and occasional desktop publishing and web design that I’ve been doing for a number of years now. But, in addition to that, this year I have been driven to engage in some of the creative activities that I have always longed to spend time doing: I have been writing and drawing (as you can see from this handmade card) and I intend to pursue publication of some of my work, including the children’s book I have been currently working on. I am thoroughly enjoying revisiting the creative side of myself after so many years of putting it aside.
Probably the biggest blessing of the year is that after 31 years I have finally quit smoking and I am determined to succeed at being smoke-free the rest of my life! This is, by far, the hardest thing I have ever done, but there is no question that it isn’t worth every bit of it. Dalton has been very supportive to me in this endeavor, and I know my mother would’ve liked to see this happen too.
Another blessing that I remind myself of often is how lucky we are to be near to my brother and sister and their families; Dalton enjoys spending time with his aunts and uncles and his cousin, Scott. Scott will not be with us this Christmas because his very first job is one that has him flying planes all over the country. But we will be thinking of him. Cherie is very proud of how accomplished her son is although she misses him! It is too bad that we can’t all always be together, but our thoughts and hearts are always with our loved ones wherever they are across the miles.
We wish you peace and joy this holiday season and send you all our love,
Linda and Dalton