Sometime in the early spring, I told my children that I would need to get away from home this first Christmas following their father's death. They agreed to decide a Christmas destination for all of us.
Around Memorial Day weekend, the kids went to visit their grandmother, my mother-in-law, who had been too ill to make the trip to California when Pete died. When they returned, the kids informed me that they had decided on the place for our Christmas adventure. I asked where, thinking along the lines of Vegas or the Grand Canyon.
Not even close. My kids take after their Dad; they think big. Early on Friday, December 22, we are leaving for Ireland.
We'll be there until early January, our own Twelve Days of Christmas. It's our gift to each other, this precious family time together. It's our farewell to cherished family traditions and our celebration of new ones. From wherever Pete is watching us, I know he is smiling.
So have yourselves a merry little Christmas while I'm away, and may the New Year hold many joyful surprises for you. Perhaps even a trip to Ireland.