Another Christmas-another year coming to an end, but how do we celebrate this special day? With friends and/or family? Or like thousands of people throughout the world?-some are alone, as was I.
It was time to go to the closet and grab those boots so I could pull myself up by the straps and say, “God today is your day and there is no need to sit alone. As noted in my recent blog, because I have been home bound for five full weeks with an illness that just wouldn’t “move on”, then I was unable to open my home to others that might also be alone. Yet, also realizing there are often blessings when we seek adventures, I chose to experience something I had never done before.
My local nextdoor.com posted a “free Christmas meal” at a VFW hall in a neighboring community. This “Buckeye, Okie, Texan” gal had never patronized a local VFW hall, so was unaware of what to expect. Like many others, I had my own conceptions of this unfamiliar experience. As I opened the doors and stepped inside, to my amazement, I was obviously the eldest person in attendance. I quickly surmised this was the “local” bar for friends, many younger than my own children.
I sat “doe eyed” at a table until a lady at the bar said, “the food is ready. Please help yourself.” The meal was meager and modest, but I also knew prepared with love. As I sat alone at the table, I thanked God for the persons who had thought of others that might be alone today. From my time of arrival to departure it was a total of ten minutes. As young couples arrived, they took a seat at the bar. This was clearly a “home away from home” to be with their friends.
I walked to the bar as I departed thanking those in attendance for their kindness; strolling to my car with yet one more Christmas in the rearview mirror; one more experience I would never have imagined. Year after year, as I spent days baking and cooking for family and friends, I never predicted I would find myself alone Christmas upon Christmas seeking out new explorations.
As my Christmas adventure had been concluded in less than fifteen minutes, I thought I would expand my memories of 2022 by becoming “one of the throng”at Buc-ee’s. It didn’t disappoint! The fashion parade would rival the best of London. As I pulled into a parking space, the first ensemble was a man in a Christmas “onesie”, wearing a Santa hat. Many others followed in pajamas and slippers, along with those in festive Christmas sweaters and shirts. There was a young lady in her full-length white lace gown; a wedding I wondered or just attire for the holiday? Buc-ee’s was certain to put a smile on anyone’s face.
Each Christmas, I’m hopeful for different memories the following year. Yet, no matter what lies ahead, I know without a doubt that “Jesus is truly the reason for the season.” Isaiah 9:6, NIV, “for to us a child is born, to us a son is given…And He will be called Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”