Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas had a different twist for our family this year: We arrived home from Branson the evening of the 21st -- just in time to set up and prepare for our local concert on the 22nd. As soon as the Seward concert was over, we loaded into the bus and drove through the night to our grandparents' home in Iowa. It was a whirlwind of a trip, but very special to see our grandparents and cousins again.

Then, on Christmas Eve, December 24th, we headed back home. Due to extended family schedules, we decided to postpone our traditional family Christmas until the following week when we could all be together [Josiah & Bethany's families were with extended family]. Thus, Christmas Eve found us arriving at home without any time for the traditional Christmas preparations. No Christmas tree. No special baking. No chopped wood for the fireplace.

But in spite of the jumble of our family traditions -- or maybe because of the jumble -- we saw the beautiful story of Christmas in a sweet new light. It was good to step back from getting caught up in the 'doings' of Christmas, and rejoice in the awesome gift of our Savior.

After supper, we headed to a local nursing home and walked the halls, sharing the Christmas carols. To see the look of joy steal over these lonely faces reminded us of the True meaning of Christmas. Because of Christ's birth -- death, and resurrection -- we can now have real purpose in life. Forgiveness. Love. Joy. Peace. A relationship with our Creator and the opportunity to share His message with the world.

What an awesome reason to celebrate!

As a side note: If you're looking for an avenue to minister together as a family, please, please take the opportunity to share in your local nursing homes! You don't have to be a great musician. You don't need a polished presentation. A simple smile, song, prayer, and handshake will go a long ways in ministering God's love. And your children learn the joy of giving to those whom the world considers the 'least of these'!

Then, our Christmas morning unveiled a delightful surprise! Mom has always been an amazing example to us in creatively finding joy in simple pleasures and making the most out of 'less-than-ideal' situations. And my sisters learned from her well, planning a very memorable Christmas morning celebration -- a festive breakfast!

Decorated with Scripture verses

And for the best part of the surprise -- all the wrapped presents were boxes of cereal!

Morning smiles

With lively laughter, smiles, and chatter, we had a memorable Christmas breakfast. Is there anything better than rejoicing in the Author of love, life, and the tender bonds of family joy?!

A very merry and blessed Christmas
from our family to yours!!!

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:10-11


Peter Pillman said...

I can't agree more. Nursing homes are an amazing place of ministry. Our family has had a consistent nursing home ministry for more than 17 years. I often find that as much as I go to minster to the people each week, I end up being the one ministered to.

I have had innumerable "Grandmas" and "Grandpas" that have had such a special part in my life.

When you have the time, take a moment/hour/hours to sit and visit with them too. We have learned everything from caponizing roosters to basic blacksmithing talking with the residents. They are so glad to share their stories and experiences, and there is SO much that you can learn from them.

On a side note, nursing homes are the best place to begin music ministry. They are so appreciative of anything you do! I have made countless mistakes, but they always clap anyways!

Natalya said...

This post nearly made me cry! You got home after a long drive, ate some supper and headed right off to bless more people on Christmas Eve! GOD BLESS YOU WISSMANN FAMILY!

I love to go to my grandfather's nursing home and play piano or harp for the people there. It's amazing to see how much just a little bit of my time can make so much of a difference to them.

There was one gentleman there who use to sing in his church coir. He had a wonderful voice still, even after so many years. Even though he had forgotten most of the words (he still remembered his favorites) he would hum or "la, la, la" along with all the songs I would play. He loved the harp especially. This christmas was the first time I have played harp at that nursing home since he died (over a year ago) I could hear him singing in my head, and I choked up when I was singing on his favorite, "O Holy Night", but mom said it was the best I've ever played it, because I was playing it for him. I know it is such a blessing to those people when you go to them. I love going to the nursing homes!!
Have a blessed new year!

Yvonne Blake said...

I found your site looking for a picture of someone singing carols at a nursing home.

What a beautiful family. We have 8 grown children (7 married and 5 grandchildren...and more on the way)

God bless your family! Thank for being a light for Him.

Kate Grant said...

Quite the interesting presents guys!!!