Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 -

The Christmas Spirit

by LSF Publications
Published: Nov 29, 2013
Words: 34,755
Category: xmas
Orientation: M/F
Click HERE for further details and purchase options.
The Christmas Spirit
by Steve Timmons

Each year, as Christmas approaches, Heidi and I dig out Grandma Erika's old diaries and read once again the delightful story that lies at the root of our family heritage. It's a tale which we didn't really come to know until after she and my grandfather had both passed on. This Christmas, we decided to share it with you. A number of years ago...


My mood matched the bleak weather of that long past dismal November day. Thanksgiving was just around the corner and the Christmas season would follow quickly on its heels, typically a very festive time of year in my family and amongst our many friends of German ancestry here in York County, Pennsylvania.

This year, I thought with a sigh, it'll take a lot more than Christmas decorations and parties to lift my spirits. And rightly so, I reminded myself. It was just too soon. It'd only been a couple of months since their passing, my paternal grandparents, that is, Konrad and Erika Hoffman.

Both in their late nineties, they'd passed away within weeks of each other, Grandpa Konrad first, after nearly seventy years together, seventy happy, prosperous years, I should add.

And well deserved happiness, too! For they'd raised not only their own blended family but, after the death of my parents in an auto accident when I was only ten, they'd taken on the task of raising my older sisters and me, seeing us all through college, and in my case law school, and into happy marriages of our own.

I'd been both flattered and honored when, on my first day in private law practice, they'd entrusted me with the preparation of their wills and named me executor of their estates. Not that their estates were in any way complicated for these were simple hard working folks. Grandpa was a professor of German Studies at nearby York College and Grandma owned a small import company specializing in products from Germany.

They lived and exemplified the American dream.

Now, after weeks of gentle persuasion by my darling wife, we were finally beginning the sad task of sorting through their possessions, the mementos of a long and loving marriage, which seemed to fill their charming old home from cellar to attic.

Ultimately, I supposed, the old house, the house in which I'd grown up from the age of ten, would have to be sold. My sisters and their husbands were well settled in their own homes and my grandparent's house seemed just too big for so far childless newlyweds like Heidi and me. It was the practical thing to do, my lawyerly mind informed me, with the proceeds of the sale to be divided amongst the heirs. Practical but...


Truthfully, we didn't get a lot done that first day. It was more like surveying the house to see what we were up against. I'd gravitated toward the cellar where I knew I'd find many of my grandfather's things while Heidi headed for the attic to prowl around amongst Grandma Erika's treasures.