By Joseph Mazzella
It was a white Thanksgiving. I looked out my window at the 4 inches of snow that had fallen the day before and smiled. It made the meadow and woodlands look so beautiful. It felt like it was Christmas already. I poured myself a glass of eggnog and walked quietly into my bedroom.
My daughter was cooking most of our Thanksgiving dinner this year so I had some time to relax and thank God for all of the blessings in my life.
I sat down on my bed and glanced down at the photo albums in the bookcase by the wall. I reached over, pulled one out and opened it. There I was as a baby sneaking under the Christmas tree and ripping open the presents under it. I didn’t understand Christmas yet, but I knew something good must be inside that wrapping paper. There I was a few years later standing by the world’s ugliest Christmas tree that I had talked my Dad into chopping down over my brothers’ objections. It was so scraggly it could barely hold up the decorations. There I was as a full grown, young man standing with my brothers, Mom and Dad on Christmas Day. It still amazed me that we had grown taller than them.
I took a sip of eggnog and picked up another-photo album. I opened it and saw my daughter’s delight the first time she saw Santa Claus. I turned the page and there were my daughter and oldest son playing in the cardboard toy box instead of with the toys we had bought them. I flipped to another page and watched my kids grow older, celebrating their first Christmas in our new home. It was shocking to realize how quickly the years had flown by. Another turn of the page and there I was holding my brother’s grandson in my arms at my Dad’s house. My hair had grown sparse and gray and my face had’ gained some well-earned wrinkles, but the joy in my eyes when I held my Great’ Nephew on Christmas sparkled with a youth that would never fade.
I slowly closed the photo albums and took another sip of eggnog. My heart was full of beautiful memories. I closed my eyes and let all the Christmas’ past, all the Thanksgiving feasts, all the memories of a lifetime flow through my heart, soul, and mind. There I was picking flowers for my Mom on the first day of spring. There I was swimming in the pool as a boy on a hot summer’s day. There I was playing with my kids in the fall leaves. There I was losing another snowball fight to them in the winter snow. There I was doing my best to share my life with smiles, laughter, love, and joy. There I was delighting in all the love, kindness, and happiness that was shared with me.
I finished my eggnog while the smell of turkey and mashed potatoes floated into my bedroom. I watched the sun shining off the white snow outside my window. I thanked God again for all the loving memories He had blessed my life with. And then I went into the living room to create some new ones.
May all of your days be full of loving memories. May you make new ones every chance you get. And may you always remember just how much God loves you.