As I sit here tonight, I still smell our minty Christmas cookies, am finding bits of wrapping paper tucked into corners of our home, and am eagerly relaxing in the glow of many twinkling lights. Christmas is over but much of it still surrounds me as I sink, tired, into the warmth of our love seat.
This season can be stressful, can't it? There are so many expectations, so much that must get done and it all culminates into one twenty four period that feels as though it must be just right. But, when the rubber hits the road, it is rarely perfect... though always real. When we tuck our children into bed that night, the hopes of it fall silent and we are left with what it really was... a day. A day of memories. A day of lessons. A day of laughter and of nostalgia and of traditions. A day of good food, loving family, long history. A day.
So, here we are tonight. We have processed through it and need to find a way to embrace the wonder of what was and release the disappointment of what did not happen as we had hoped. For our family, the day was good. I was grateful to be here with my husband and children and enjoyed cooking and playing and staying in jammies all day long. We took our time and tried to really be present with our kids as they laughed and talked and thought.
Some of our highlights:
1. Watching Noah and Benjamin use our Nativity set to act out the true meaning of Christmas as Josiah and Elizabeth looked on, giggling.
2. Taking time to open presents... even stopping in the middle to eat a huge breakfast before finishing the task at hand.
3. Watching deer walk down the street in perfectly white snow, right in the middle of that big meal.
4. Playing two new games with our whole family and realizing that the kids are old enough now that we can actually play two new games!
5. Watching, in utter amazement, as Noah and Benjamin both assembled HUGE Lego projects... Noah working for almost 5 hours to create his most wanted gift!
6. Smiling as I watched Josiah and Elizabeth create a new way of playing that incorporated both her new Bitty Baby and his new purple light saber.
7. Opening a gift from my dear husband that will help me to share videos with all of you... Yay, Flip video!
7. Listening to our kids process through our traditional Christmas Devotions and hearing the story of the birth of Christ in a new way, in their sweet voices.
Yes, it was a good day. I am tired but when I think it through, I am content. The house was not perfect, the ham was a little dry and I have way too many leftovers. But, the memories we made are worth keeping and the story we told was (and is!) important and it was good.
My friends, think back on your day and release your expectations. Remember the giggles, the early morning start, the look on the faces of your children as they opened presents in jammies with bedhead and tuck it all away. Years from now, we may not remember what presents we fought to find or what menu we slaved over in an effort to make the day "just-so". But, we will remember these simple moments and we will see then, clearer than we may see now, what mattered more than any of the rest.
So, as I sit here in the darkness and rest my weary bones, I leave with you my favorite memory of Christmas 2008. Blessings to you and yours...
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