Thursday, December 25, 2014


Recently I ran into a friend who was lamenting that she missed the old days when Christmas was celebrated simply with family, food, and a Christmas candle in the window. The current commercialism clutters her Christmas experience. I had to admit that I love the holiday glitz. I love the lights, the trees, the decorations, the cards, the parties….and even the presents. For me, the dazzling lights and decadent decorations create an atmosphere of something special to come. They form a backdrop for an experience of remembering—remembering our blessings, remembering that there is value in this crazy life as long as we cling to love, remembering that there is always hope no matter how bad things seem, remembering the little boy who was born in a stable so far from home—the same little boy who grew into a man who taught the world to welcome strangers, include the marginalized, liberate the oppressed, feed the hungry, comfort those who mourn.

Christmas is the road we follow back home every year. It is the place we stop to remember the good things when time circles around us….

Tom and I know we have many good things to be grateful for this Christmas.

Our children are all happy and healthy. Brittany began a new marketing job at Strand Engineering, and Chad continues to hone his creative skills at FastSigns. They are avid bikers and are enjoying exploring Wisconsin’s many trails.

Kristin and Michael had a year full of beginnings. Kristin took a new teaching job at Milton Middle School, and Michael as a manager at the new Doolittle’s Woodfire Grill.  This spring they moved  into a new home in Mc Farland, and, shortly after, got a puppy!  And, on an exquisite afternoon in August, in a magical little ceremony on Presque Isle Lake, they got married!

Molly and Lukas continue to work in advertising/marketing in downtown Chicago. They undertook quite an extensive kitchen/bathroom remodeling project this past year, and just a few days ago, announced that this coming year they will undertake another big project: they are pregnant! Baby Yant is due in July!

Austin is still working with Tom, focusing on real estate, but, also getting his feet wet in the construction business.  This summer Austin built his first Gannon home. (It’s beautiful). And, as Tom begins to close out his career, this fall he built his last Gannon home.

I am also happy to report that both my Mom and Dad, who are in their 80’s, are well and active. But, I am sad to say that after a long illness, my Step-Mom lost her battle.  She passed on in October.

This year brought Tom and I a bit more leisure time as we contemplate retirement…and with it more opportunities to travel . In February we took a break from winter in beautiful Naples, Florida. In October we traveled to sunny Tucson for our nephew Jamison’s wedding. We also celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary that weekend—what fun it was to celebrate with our large extended Gannon family. We plan to continue the celebration into the new year with a few more get-a-ways to warmer climes.

Good health, a home, family, meaningful work, finding joy in everyday life…these are the real gifts of Christmas, and I do agree with my girlfriend that they need no wrapping or ribbons.

So, dear family and friends, my Christmas wish for you is that your new year be filled with these simple blessings. And…maybe just a little glitter, too!

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