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Prime Time | Alice Collins: A new experience for Christmas

It will be a different holiday season for us this year.

Since last Christmas we have moved from our Grant Lake home of more than 40 years to an assisted living apartment at WindSong.

There are plans for holiday celebrations here that we will enjoy, but it will be different from any past Christmas for us.

Our family has provided us with a delightful artificial tree that fills the corner of our living room. It is decorated with lights and ornaments, including a number of ones from our years of trees at home. Several of them feature pictures of the grandchildren in their younger years and will now include some of the great-grands.

A day or two after Christmas, our daughter and son-in-law will come to Bemidji to visit us and spend time in the Grant Lake house that is now theirs. We will no doubt go out there for a visit and a meal when they are here. The last time they visited and we spent time at the lake, my husband enjoyed a boat trip, and while we sat on the glassed-in sun porch, a doe and her fawn ran by as we looked out.

Christmas has always been a big deal to me. My mother loved Christmas and made the day and its surrounding season special, not only for the gifts we got, but for the joy of choosing and giving gifts for beloved family members. There was a time when we were financially able to be more than generous in our gift giving, and we really enjoyed that, but it is still a delight to search and find something that will make someone smile and be pleased.

Our weather has so far done little to put us in the mood for winter and the holiday season. Actually, that has been a benefit to a couple of 89-year-olds who are finding slippery walks and roads and frigid temperatures hard to deal with. So far, we are still able to drive where we need to go, but there is a bus here that transports residents to the grocery store once a week. We are still able to drive to church on Sunday, where I still enjoy singing in the choir that I directed for more than 20 years. It is a treat to be singing under the current director, who was a little girl in a children’s choir I directed in Rochester many years ago. I won’t say how many and give away her age, but I am pleased that she now has a master’s degree in music and teaches in this area.

So we are now entering the year 2013, which we hope is good luck, not bad, and that will take me up to the big 90 — getting closer to exceeding my wonderful Aunt Mary Alice’s family record of 93.

Happy New Year.