Reflections on Christmas by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

In 2022, I hope to follow the advice in that scripture. Take this past Christmas holiday, for example. I will reminisce about how my husband led us in sweet devotions, and we purposefully prayed for individual families, instead of being sad because some relatives could not attend.

I will think of our white elephant gift exchange and be grateful I ended up with a lovely tray instead of the pair of high heels I previously had given my granddaughter which were chic and stylish but squished my toes, instead of how she obviously couldn’t wait to give them away.

I will be grateful for aching thighs the day after walking the hills my children and grandchildren jumped on their dirt bikes, even though I could not bend over to pick up a kitchen towel I dropped.

I will think of all we learned about each other after drawing random questions out of a bowl, including how one person answered “If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would it be and why?” with “Jesus and Hitler.” (She redeemed herself with her reasoning: She wanted to see how Hitler would react when he faced the one who died for his sins).

I will remember how all the women spent an afternoon together making our favorite cookie recipes to take to the three local Afghanistan families, even though I failed to spray oil on the cookie sheet of my first batch and only a few survived.

I will think of the beautiful 45-degree weather that allowed us to have a weenie roast, instead of the sleet that had to be chiseled off our windshields the next day on our drive to the airport.

I will recall how the women thumped the men in the highly competitive marathon of Marbles and Jokers (4-1, but who’s counting?) instead of how some of the men acted like babies when they lost.

I will never forget how much everyone enjoyed the Christmas games I found on the internet (like the Alphabet Game where, in 15 minutes, you list as many Christmas words as you can for each letter) and how competitive everyone was to win the prizes, instead of how argumentative they were when I wouldn’t accept their answers.

As my son, Adam, put it, “We should have known that the only answers Mom would accept were words from the Bible. We could have put Jehoshaphat under ‘J’ and she would have found a way that related to Christmas.” (Really? “Bed” is not a Christmas word, even though you sleep in one, waiting for Santa to come down the chimney, and “Oh” doesn’t count just because it starts the song “Oh Christmas Tree.”) I. WAS. A. FAIR. JUDGE.

I will think of those who have survived Covid and those who have gone to Heaven over the holidays because of it and will be reminded of the need to tell everyone I meet about Jesus.

And I will think of how every single moment gives me a chance to follow the advice of Philippians 4:8. I pray I can live up to that resolution. I should have known that, within a week, my 2022 resolution would be tested to the max.

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