“UnPerfect” Holiday Blessings!

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by C.J. Peterson

We rush around day and night, making sure to get all of the details completed for our ‘perfect Holidays’. Why do we do this? To create memories. The question I have for you is…”What makes a memory ‘memorable’?”

Is it those ‘perfect’ moments, or is it the moments that make you smile and laugh? Those moments where the turkey was supposed to be ‘perfect’, but you forgot to turn the oven on, and ended up with holiday meatloaf. Those moments where those ‘perfectly’ decorated cookies you were going to be handing out to neighbors – ends up being more icing on the kids, than on the cookies. Those moments where you took time to decorate the tree ‘perfect,’ but the kitty decided to climb to the top, grab the garland, and drag it down the hallway. You cringe as you see all of your work strewn about the house, and then start over. Those moments where you wrap the present ‘perfectly’, only to look at the ones already wrapped, and you see that the dog got into ‘Uncle Billy’s’ summer sausage log…or the cat decided that they wanted to play with all of the bows and ribbons, and you have to re-wrap them.

Another example of this happened a few years ago to our family. My nephew got called for deployment starting in the beginning of November. That meant that he would not be home for Christmas. The family started stressing! A Christmas without him wouldn’t be the same. So, I suggested that we have Christmas before he goes. The mad scramble ensued as everyone made mad dashes to get everything ready a few months earlier than planned. No Black Friday savings. Finding a turkey for a decent price before Thanksgiving was a feat. However, in my family’s true fashion. we pulled it off. Yes, it was strange seeing my brother and sister-in-love’s house decorated for Christmas in October, but it was beautiful!

Another year, there was a huge blizzard. I promise you that will never be forgotten! Literally two inches of ice, covered in two feet of snow in a matter of hours! My husband and brother took my sister-in-love’s mom home after the Christmas celebrations, and got stuck a half mile from the house. They had to walk back home and leave the car. They looked like walking snowmen by the time they got home, but they were bonded for life!

This year will be a much different year, as the family will be split. There are a lot of health issues going on within the family and extended family. This created a scheduling nightmare. With my Dad’s passing in July, there will be an empty seat at the table. My niece’s mother-in-love is battling major health issues, so they will come later in order to spend Christmas with her. Meanwhile, my sister-in-love’s mother is facing her own serious health issues. My mother has had her own health issues, and she cannot travel, which means we all need to go to her. My nephew’s military schedule dictates him to come in early, so we’re heading to my Mom and sister’s house early. Then, we will return for the second half when my niece’s family goes. Super Hubby and I will be spending Christmas itself at home for the first time in years.

We have a table cloth, that each year everyone who attends Christmas signs their name and the year. After Christmas, I go through and stitch each name, following their signature lines. This keeps a permanent record. While we won’t have Dad, we’ll have his name on the table cloth.

We normally do a group photo of the family, but this year, we’ll have to have ‘sections’ of family photos…with Dad missing from all of them.

No matter what the situation, we will make it happen! This Christmas calls for flexibility, but we’ll do it! As long as the family can get together, we’ll make it work.

What I am trying to say is that the more ‘unperfect’ the moment, the more memorable it will be. Some of those memories will be filled with laughter and delight, some will be precious ones that can never be replaced by those who have moved on. Either way, those moments will never be far from our heart! So, don’t stress. Roll with it.

With all that being said, I want to wish you ‘Unperfect Happy Holidays!’ Make them great!
God bless, C.J. 🙂
Christmas Memories

About the Author:

CJ PetersonI was raised in a Christian military home, but it was far from tranquil. Like many young people, I left home as soon as possible, and went my own way, thinking I knew better. To me anything was better than where I was. Unfortunately, some of the choices I made led me away from the Lord, and sometimes that path was a dangerous one.
God is faithful, even when His children are lost and wandering. When I needed Him most, the Lord was there for me. He led me out of that danger and into a new life…a life where I am loved and appreciated. He taught me what ‘real love’ is, and what it’s supposed to look like through my family and wonderful husband.
Who knew that “Prince Charming” actually existed? I hoped and prayed he was out there, and I found him! He is a 24 year Navy veteran and the love of my life! With his encouragement, I rediscovered the creativity I thought I had lost a long time ago, and have begun to publish the books I have written through the years. The words in these books helped me through my struggles, and my prayer is they will help others.
The way in which I write my Christian Books, is unique to say the least. I am a realistic Christian. People are people, they stumble, they fall, they trip, but God continues to dust us off, and set us back on the path again, if we just learn to trust in Him.
The challenges faced in my past give me a perspective on the realities of living the Christian life that some people may never see. There are times we wander away from God…there are times when we draw closer to Him. In our arrogance we think we can make it on our own. However, the One who made this world, and who made you, has the answers, and thankfully, He forgives our impudence and petulance and loves us through it all. God is a God of love, mercy, grace, and guidance. He loves us and only wants the best for us.
Those who have read my books, describe them as encouraging, frustrating, and a wonderful read all at the same time. The same character that could have you crying one minute, will have you cheering the next! One of my editors, stated that ‘she was so into the story, that she forgot to edit, and had to go back to do the editing’.
I pray you will enjoy my books as well!

While the stories are fiction, the journey is real.

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