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I love the quiet of the night this time of year. The winter solstice has just passed and the New Year is about to begin. I find my mind flooded with memories. My favorite carol is and always has been Stille Nacht (Silent Night). Growing up, my 3 sisters and I would gather with our Mom around the  piano and sing folk songs and at Christmas time we sang carols; many of them we sang in German, like Silent night. Later each Christmas Eve our parents would bundle us up and take us to to the 11 o’clock service. By the time we got home it was after midnight and we were so excited because we got to open one Christmas gift before we went to bed. I remember loving the luminaries surrounding the path and patio leading to church and the sanctuary decorated with greens and Poinsettias. They would have a manger and act out the Christmas story. In 1976 my son Zachariah was only a week old on Christmas Eve and they used him for the baby Jesus. Christmas in San Diego is a mixture of European and Mexican traditions. At the end of the service we would gather outside for one last song in the still of the night! Those are just a few of the memories I treasure. There are no more gatherings with the 4 girls. Two years ago we lost our baby sister to cancer. The hole she left is an unfillable void. It was the middle of November and as I sat there in shock, not knowing how to start to grieve my mind wandered to my sister Liane’s love of Christmas decorations and then it hit me. I would get lights for the outside of the house, something I had never done before. Shawn said a couple of guys on the crew love putting up Christmas lights. I decided to ordered so many light, that the house would be so bright, my dear sweet sister could see it from heaven! Each year as we hit the anniversary of her passing on into the Light we put up these memorial lights.

Last year Shawn’s grandma Bea passed away right before Christmas and this year we added the wreath with golden lights and a bright red bow. She also loved decorating for Christmas and her home was always beautiful but especially so at Christmas. Christmas lights at Ravenscourt GardensChristmas Eve is a time for reflection and remembering the reason we celebrate tomorrow!

“May the forgiving spirit of Him to whom we dedicate this season prevail again on earth.
May hunger disappear and terrorists cease their senseless acts.
May people live in freedom, worshiping as they see fit, loving others.
May the sanctity of the home be ever preserved.
May peace, everlasting peace, reign supreme.”

— Soundings, Vol. 2, # 12

Silent Night in German (Stille nacht) -Dresden choir.

Blessing to you are yours from Shawn and Laurin!