5 life observations on this Christmas Day

While heartless unfeeling inconsiderate friends continue sending photos of piles of snow back home, I’m spending Christmas in New Jersey where there is no fluffy white stuff adorning the landscape.

But there’s been plenty of playing, laughing, squealing, listening to Christmas music, gift-giving, nerf gun wars, good eating, Chai tea sipping, Lego building, book reading going on here in Jersey.



Photo credit: Doug Oines


Which has contributed to 5 observations on important life issues this Christmas:

1. Men don’t seem to outgrow their competitiveness.

SIL Josh and all six grands got nerf guns for Christmas. And Josh showed no mercy to his brood of kids. Not even to his wife who was innocently (or maybe not so innocently) watching from the sidelines.

2. Children like one-on-one attention.

No matter how old or young they are, no matter how old I am, it seems my grandkidlings love that I take each of them out one at a time. I’m getting the better end of this deal.



Photo credit: me


3. Staying in pajamas all day can be an exercise in bonding.

It’s evening on Christmas Day as I write this, and it’s way too late to get dressed because I’ll just have to change back into pajamas in a couple hours. All of the adults and teens in the house have been in pajamas all day.

When in Rome …



Photo credit: Josh Conn


4. The hole in the shape of Hubby is diminishing.

Perhaps it’s this family gathering season that’s caused me to reflect upon the continued diminishing of the sorrow distress loss lonesomeness of widowhood. How lucky am I to get to spend time with my busy adult children and the grands. (Jeremy & Denise flew me to LA twice this year.) And even though Hubby is still missing from us, so is the ache in the general direction of my heart.

5. I’ve started wishing for a male friend.

I’ve noticed that I’ve begun, oh so slightly, wishing for a kind, wise, active man who could tackle tall mountain trails with me, a friend to share a cup of coffee or Chai tea or a simple lunch. And that thinking-about-wishing-for surprises me. But I think it’s tied to #4, and although I have no plans to pursue a male friendship, it will be interesting to see what might unfold in time.

* * *

This quote from Ann Voskamp:

Remembering is an act of thanksgiving … this turn of the heart over time’s shoulder to see all the long way [God’s] arms have carried.

I wish I could say to Hubby on this splendid Christmas Day, “I loved sharing life with you; and I am grateful to you and God for every last minute of it. And I’m happy, paying attention, taking adventures, counting blessings, living forward with purpose.”

But somehow I think Hubby knows all that. And I think he would approve of a male friend for me.

P.S. If you found this post thought-provoking or helpful, please share, tweet or pin!


6 gifts to give yourself this holiday season


Can 2016 losses be turned into 2017 gains?


  1. Terri

    Surprisingly 8 months into widow hood I found a friend at Lowe’s. Unexpected, not even thinking about it but it found me.

    It’s nice to have someone to talk with and go out with. I know I am liking it. Sure, it’s not Jim, I didn’t realize I had a hole until this happened. I guess it’s really about keeping your heart open to new things.

    • “It’s about keeping your heart open to new things.” Good wisdom, Terri. And I love that this friendship found you. (Do you think I should roam the aisles at Lowe’s … would that help?! smile)

  2. Peter Howe B.E.M.

    I was reading your ‘staying in pajamas’ paragraph and it took me to yesterday’s Christmas dinner and afterwards.15 of the family together and our daughter in law Anna hadn’t opened her presents…. she started and found a ‘dressing gown’ from her daughter Naomi and put it on (she loves her dressing gown), then she found another one, from her mother, took the 1st off and put the 2nd on, then lo and behold, there was a 3rd dressing gown. Anna was so pleased, knowing she had 3 new dressing gowns. Husband Dave of course commented about getting rid of her old ones!!! Anna can stay in her dressing gown in her own home and anyone and everyone who knows her also knows how ‘at home and content’ she is. Also Betty, one of our friends in Kentucky always writes a lovely meanigful verse and included with her card was a photograph of her and as she puts it ‘her new sweetheart Bob. We (Barbara and I) were so delighted for her, it has been some time since she lost her beloved Jim and perhaps it is time for her family to know that ‘there is a time for everything’. Our love and thoughts/prayers, God Bless, Barbara, Peter & family.

    • I love the story about your daughter-in-law’s dressing gowns, Peter. And it’s heartening to hear about your friend’s new sweetheart. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Peter Howe B.E.M.

    Dear Marlys,
    You must realise I’m sure that it is important to ‘take the moment’ and make the most of it, especially when it is so relevant and I feel that it is because of what you send to us in ‘your blog’ that I/we are prompted to respond, so that your sharing become a wider lateral thinking to the benefit of so many people, especially those in the greatest need.
    Thank you and please continue to keep us on our toes, bring happiness and joy in a most meaningful way by your sharing. B & P.

  4. Eileen

    Love your wisdom. Have a wonderful New Year and keep the writing coming. God has a plan for all of us – keep an open heart and mind he will lead the way. My husband isn’t doing great these days but I cherish each one and all the wonderful times we have had together for 58 years. Love

  5. Peter Howe B.E.M.

    You can all have a laugh at my/our expense. I’m reminded by Eileen and you talking about ’58yrs together’. I have to agree…. my Barbara said to me just a few days ago, “You know Peter, you and I have been together 4 times longer than we haven’t!”. It certainly made me think… yes, we met when we were 15!!. After thinking for a while I got to thinking, ‘Yes, and it has cost me 4 times as much!!’. That is my ‘tongue in cheek’ cheeky thought for my Barbara knows me better than I could ever know myself, now ain’t that the truth. Our love, B & P

  6. thank you for your simple real share. i feel its ripples reminding me how easy it is to be grateful even when……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2024 Marlys Johnson