Categories: The Anthony Family

by Jeanne Gehret


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Jon and I anticipated the best-ever Christmas this year. Our three year-old grandson, who shall be called Munchkin, is finally old enough to get the gist of opening gifts. We were psyched and ready!

Our visiting son Big Thunder bought Munchkin a toddler camera that actually worked. We also made the little guy a photo book of 2022 memories and wrapped up some accessories for his Brio train. We prepared the feast, set the table, and, with our daughter Tricksie’s input, scheduled the day for everyone’s enjoyment. Munchkin could nap off his over-stimulating morning while we introduced a new game to challenge He-Who-Always-Wins.

Then Munchkin got a fever, and his parents along with him. Big Thunder, who works in healthcare, could not afford to be sick, so we called off our Christmas gathering.

Instead of trying to take Munchkin’s picture while he was taking pictures, we watched pictures on the TV. (It was Episode 3 of The Chosen, but still . . .). We had a scaled-back dinner and exchanged presents with Big Thunder, trying to prolong the enjoyment as long as we could. But we missed Munchkin’s abounding energy and joy. And the fond expressions of Tricksie and He-Who-Always-Wins.

Christmas is a season of heightened emotions. The highs are higher, the lows lower. Perhaps we compare every year to our best-year-ever and find this year lacking. Perhaps we shudder and try not to dwell on that year, the worst-Christmas-ever.

Even though this was not the best-year-ever, it was hardly the worst, either. Munchkin is mended quickly, but not before passing it along to his mom and dad. Before Big Thunder left, I assured him that we would take videos of the little guy opening his presents. It was just a short separation, a minor missing. We will all be together again.      

The Anthonys’ Christmas

In Daniel and Annie Anthony’s family, the worst-Christmas-ever must have been 1889. That’s when they lost two daughters within six months of each other. Eight year-old Annette died while on vacation, and Susie drowned in icy water at the age of seventeen. Two empty places at the holiday table. Fewer gifts under the Christmas tree. Two precious faces they would never behold again.

Kind of puts disappointments in perspective, doesn’t it?

I hope when they were missing their girls at Christmas, Daniel and Annie felt loving arms around them and experienced the peace that passes all understanding. I hope the same for you if you are missing someone. Here are some ideas to consider.

As we approach the New Year, let’s give thanks for that love that lights up our lives. Let’s bask in the glow of compassion, shared laughter, friendship, and kinship.  Let’s treasure those who receive our love and reflect it back.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours. In 2023 you can look forward to my updated website (in January, I hope) and a fun gift. Watch this space!


  1. Anonymous February 24, 2023 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Jeanne, you are an excellent writer. (Why didn’t I ever know that?) I so look forward to more of your missives. Oh, and I sent your blog invite to the SBABM Board.

    • Jeanne Gehret March 2, 2023 at 8:02 am - Reply

      I saw that, and they’ve been very supportive! Thanks.

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