Over the years I’ve had many different kinds of Christmas mornings and have enjoyed all of them as I passed through various stages of life. My early years as a little girl were spent opening gifts followed by other family events. As a young adult there were several years when Christmas morning consisted of just me and my husband opening our gifts. As our family grew there were many years of children excitedly opening gifts followed by a big Christmas breakfast. Those Christmas Days were exciting and will always be wonderful memories that I will treasure.
This morning, however, was a bit more peaceful than many of the Christmas mornings I’ve experienced in my 50 years. I am now in the “Empty Nest” phase and there are certain advantages that come with that. The fact that my children spent Christmas morning with their other ‘families’ gave me the opportunity to do one of my favorite things—-go for a hike on the Appalachian Trail. While I am extremely thankful for the time I was able to be with my children and granddaughter later in the day, I did enjoy being able to spend the morning walking through the woods.
This morning’s hike was especially enjoyable because here in South-Central PA, we were blessed with a Christmas Eve snowfall which gave us a glorious ‘White Christmas’ morning. With a fresh layer of snow carpeting the trail, hiking on the A.T. was truly an amazing experience. Being out in the woods as the sun rose over the top of the mountain was a very special treat on this holiday morning. The silence and the beauty were the best gift I could have been given. My husband and my dog seemed to have a pretty good time also.
I am thankful for many things this Christmas and I hope that you were also able to enjoy a special Christmas morning regardless of what stage of life you are in right now.