Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Carol Countdown: 18 Days to Go

Each time I type the title with the days left till Christmas, I have this inward shudder. Many of you probably share this dreaded countdown with me. How many days left until everything has to make it in the mail to get to the __________. These past few years the blank has been filled in with "East Coast." I have a son and a daughter living on the "opposite" coast. That includes a son-in-law and two granddaughters. The gifts have made it every year with some room to spare, but it's always a gnawing in my stomach until I leave the post office with their packages on the way!

My current situation is, admittedly, much better than four years ago when the same daughter as above was deployed and in Germany. But that was still fairly simple because of the military mail system. I only had to mail her things to San Francisco!

By far the worst location and, unfortunately, the worst turn-out was the year my same son as above was stationed in Korea (Army) and same daughter was serving a mission for our church in Japan. (Is it just me or does it seem that the two of them are in "cohoots" to live far away?)

It was getting close to Christmas and time to mail packages. My son's were easy, he was in the military, but my daughter's had to go through the regular mail system, and that is very, very expensive. I decided to send my daughter's Christmas box via military mail to my son in Korea. From there he could mail it to Japan, just a hop, skip and a jump over the little bit of ocean!

The plan proceeded well until Christmas Day when my daughter got to call home. She reported that no Christmas box had arrived from me. That was truly dreadful. Here she was far, far away in Japan. First Christmas without family. And no Christmas presents from home. It was agonizing.

Then January came and went. No Christmas box. February, the same. Finally the Christmas box shows up...at my son's "doorstep" in Korea. I don't know where that package had been for almost three months; I hope it had a good time.

Now the best plan was for my son to mail the package through military mail back to me. I then sent it through U.S. mail to Korea. Into the next month...Easter arrives in Japan. My daughter finally receives her Christmas box...the same day the Easter box arrives from home!

I'd like to believe that it was "all for the best." But it's going to be a hard sell!

One story is enough for a day, so those of you waiting for the Balloon Stomp will have to be patient until tomorrow.

Here is a carol I discovered this year and it's already high on my favorites list. It's done by a group called MercyMe. This carol, written by a member of the group, reflects on Joseph's feelings towards his newborn son.

I searched through all the videos I could find for one that I liked to illustrate the song. None of them were perfect. Each one had something beautiful and right, each one had a part or two that didn't fit for me. Here is the one that I finally picked. The song is so tender and filled with the love of a father. Here is "Joseph's Lullaby."

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