Ahhh, it's 9:30pm on Christmas night & I'm feeling very relaxed. Finally. It has been a LOOOOONG time since I could sit down after the kids are in bed and feel free. Like I don't have anything pressing that I need to do. (Lots that I could do...but that's a different issue). The point is: there is nothing pressing on me for tomorrow!!
So in a few minutes here, I get to reflect on the day. My heart is full. Tired, but full. I'm thankful that this Christmas had a slower pace. Thankful that I have family near and dear to us to spend the day with. Thankful for my church family that is really family. Thankful for my Savior, that He loves me, & that He came to be here on earth. That He identified with us, taking on our flesh, & lived amongst us.
We set some better boundaries this year around our time. I really liked it. We chose to have smaller, low-key family gatherings & kept it simple. We ordered Chinese take-out for Christmas dinner and ate it at home with my parents. I think this will be a new tradition.
DD#1 loved sprinkling reindeer food out in our driveway last night (to help guide Santa to our home), and was exuberant this morning that "Santa really did come!" She was thrilled with each little gift, declaring how much she loved each one. I truly think the plastic rings from the dollar store might have been her favorite gift.
My favorite memory of her was hearing her sing Christmas hymns at the candlelight service on Christmas Eve. I didn't realize that she knows most all of the words to the more popular songs, since we've listened to the Veggie Tales versions so many times in the car. She was singing them at the top of her voice and it was glorious.
DD#2 was trying to figure everything out. She's been a little under-the-weather, and not her usual spunky self, so she was in a bit of a daze when we woke her up to open presents this morning. She happily followed her big brother & sister (as usual) and enjoyed her gifts though. She was mostly interested in the Frozen singing microphone ("Let it Go") and the crawling baby Minnie toy that Grammy & Po-po gave her.
One thing I think I'll remember is that she gave me quite a scare when she fell down the stairs today at Mi'ma & Pi'pa's house going down to the basement. Yikes. She fell down several steps & got stuck mid-way down, stopping the free fall. Thankfully she wasn't hurt, and after a good cry in my arms, was back to running outside to play on the trampoline.
Sweet Son is at a little more complicated age. He still wants to believe in the magic and wonder of Christmas, but is a little skeptical on the Santa thing. It brings a smile to my face though, when he still gets caught up in the excitement of getting a gift he likes. It's rare for me to hear him exclaim, "Oh cool!" or any other expression of pure enjoyment, and I got to hear it this morning. He was very happy to receive his chess set (Thank you Santa), and a Star Wars Lego set as well.
My favorite memory of him this year is watching how he wanted to make the present-opening stretch out longer, insisting that we go one at a time opening our stockings, and even if he had to be the last one to open, it was ok. He also was very excited about presenting his homemade gifts to us, including a very creative homemade paper version of cheeseburgers and french fries with Papa & Mama's names on them. Kind of random, but he was very proud of them, and I was impressed at his creative imagination and diligence to make it!
All our kids were eager to participate in our Advent "can" calendar, and know all of the right "church" answers to why we celebrate Christmas and what the holiday is all about. I pray that it sinks in deep, their need for a Savior. That our traditions will be more than just a routine or sentimentality. I know there's a lot about our cultural celebration on Christmas that doesn't point to Christ and actually takes away from us glorifying Him. I hope that we aren't perpetuating those things. I hope our children will learn and see in our Christmas celebration the wonderful Truth. Please help us Lord, to provide experiences for them that point to You. That invite them into the wonder of Your love for them.