Forgiveness, love, caring, sharing: ’tis the season

Father Time will mess with your head if you let him.

Something will start rolling around in there, and pretty soon ol’ F.T. steps up, wiggles his little finger and sends time spiraling out of control. How else could Christmas be three days away?

Just a few days ago it was Thanksgiving and I was helping drag houses and trees out of their boxes to put in my sister’s holiday village. I say help, but honestly, compared to the 36 hours she put in building said town, my few hours were more like a blip on the radar.

Still, I like to think I help a little bit, so when people look at it and say “Wow,” I get to feel a touch of that pride, too.

This year she made a hillside town with lots of layers, which could take hours to see completely.

If you think I’m exaggerating the awesomeness of this holiday village, go see for yourself. She’s got it in her quilt shop on A Street West, just north of Tom Thumb. Since the kids are out of school for Christmas vacation, take them. You don’t have to be a quilter to go in the shop, and the visit could become a family tradition.

Building this holiday village is Cindy’s way of showing what Christmas means to her, though I’ve sometimes thought she builds it to channel Dad, who built real houses. And in all the years she’s put it up, it’s never looked the same. You’d think she’d run out of ways to create a new scene.

Just know, it’s worth a trip to the quilt shop, but count on at least half an hour to see almost everything. I don’t think you’ll ever see everything.

That’s just how life goes. You stand in front of something special, trying to take in the beauty of the whole thing, and as you’re driving away, someone says “Did you see the kid making a snow angel?” Makes you want to turn around and go right back to get another look.

Why not? People take do-overs for lots of reasons. I think I’ve told you about my nephew, who gets what he calls a mulligan once a day so if he says or does something, let’s say questionable, he can call a mulligan before his wife takes him to task.

Christmas offers Christians the greatest mulligan of all time – a baby boy, born of a virgin, the son of a loving Lord who forgives all sins if only we ask.

Asking may seem difficult at first, but I’m pretty sure that has more to do with man’s inner need to be right at all costs. Try it. It doesn’t have to be a formal request, a prayer made in church. Your eyes don’t even have to be closed, though I’ve found closed eyes help keep the tears from falling. Forgiveness is emotional.

The thing about forgiveness is the love it makes you feel, the knowledge that all’s well with your world.

Forgiveness, love, caring, sharing. It’s all part of Christmas.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at