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A Change of Plans For Christmas

Story ID:5533
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Manhattan KS USA
Year:2009
Person:Nancy and Ken Kopp
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Our children and their families were all home for Thanksgiving this year, and while they were here, we made our Christmas plans.

Kirk’s family would be spending Christmas in Mississippi with his wife’s side of the family, so we made arrangements to go down to Dallas the week-end before Christmas to have an early celebration with them. Ken and I enjoy seeing our granddaughters open the gifts we bring and it’s a festive time of year to visit a big city, too.

We drove down last week on Friday and had a great visit, including some good food, opening gifts on Saturday morning by the Christmas tree, a little shopping, and a lot of chatter and laughter. Monday, we drove home to Kansas on a sunny day.

The plans made at Thanksgiving included another Christmas visit for us, but this time it would be to our son-in-law’s parents’ home in Lawrence, about 90 miles east of us. We’d spend the Christmas afternoon and evening with them and our daughter’s family, then stay overnight at a local hotel. The next morning we would drive on to Karen’s home near Kansas City and have our gift exchange with them and head home on Sunday.

But the best laid plans sometimes don’t work out. It seems a major winter storm is bearing down on Kansas, blowing in from Colorado, through our state and right on—wreaking havoc and changing the plans of so many people. We keep getting varying reports as to how much snow to expect, so it’s really a wait and see situation. High winds will create blizzard conditions and drifting. Today, all we had was fog and rain, but the snow is creeping closer and should be here by the time we wake up tomorrow. The snow is to continue all day and into the night on Christmas Eve and perhaps even Christmas Day.

I have a feeling Ken and I will be celebrating our Lord’s birth all alone at home. There will be no sitting around the dining room table with family or watching the youngest grandchildren play with the toys Santa brought. Maybe we’ll be able to go to Karen’s house by Saturday or Sunday. And that’s all right. Whenever people who love one another are together, it’s a celebration.

If we do end up home alone, it will be disappointing but not devastating. Even after 45+ years of marriage, we like spending time together. We’ll open gifts on Christmas morning, then have a big breakfast. Ken will soon be out clearing the driveway, and I’ll make a few phone calls. Later on, we’ll have the steaks I bought yesterday “just in case” we ended up staying home. And more and more that looks like what will happen.

On future Christmases, we’ll talk about the year of the big snow, the year we had to stay home alone. I know we won’t be the only ones whose plans changed. As long as the power stays on, we’ll be fine.