taking it in.

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What a beautiful Christmas.   The one time of year I completely embrace and let traditions take me over.  I love it.  If I could squeeze every tiny ounce of goodness that comes with the Christmas season and make sure it all happens?  I would.  I am realizing as our lives evolve and things take on different priorities, that I am not able to make it all happen.  But, what does happen?  We do it fully.  Experiencing the season fully is what I want for my family.  And what I want for them as they begin to have families of their own.  (but we aren’t going there, yet!)

Obviously, my computer time took a dive on the priority list.  My facebook account is blocked for some reason on the computer and I can’t unlock it except for giving all of this information including a credit card—is this normal?  I’m not doing it.  And I have given Blessings Unlimited a well deserved rest–although the phone calls from the hospital have proved that there is no rest for those with child the week before Christmas. 

 
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This precious baby girl, loved her some Baby Jesus.  I found her mimicking Kassidy (who was an older angel, just like her) as she held baby Jesus up to the heavens.  This one little thing this baby angel did during one of the rehearsals, carried me through this program.  It was absolutely so amazing.

Perhaps, there is nothing more heart touching to me than the telling of the Christmas story through children.  I have learned, that rehearsals generally do not give you the “real” deal.  And oh how  thankful I am for that!!  I am thankful for parents who step up and help.  For the kids, who went it comes right down to it, are there and giving of themselves 100%.  It brought me to tears before the program and it does now.  I absolutely can not say enough about the kids in our program.  Precious.  Glorifying Christ.  And showing others the magnificence of the birth of Christ.  And it turns out our little talk before the program even began about “it’s ok if we mess up—it doesn’t have to be perfect!”  Well, that talk was JUST for me as I brought the kids in on a different scene totally bypassing one of the most climactic songs.  HUMBLING!!! 

Christmas shopping with my little boy as he so desperately wants to get his sisters something they want.  A morning of chaos and frustration was completely erased as we had our “date” to shop for the girls.  This boy was seriously skipping his way downtown McPherson with bags in hand.  His heart full of excitement with the secrets of his gifts that would have to remain a secret for another 48 + hours. 
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The magic of Christmas morning, which thankfully in our house, does not happen until after 8:00 am, is a sweet tradition I’ve had ever since I was little.  The beautiful awakening of Christmas morning and joy of the the birth of Jesus—something I don’t ever want to miss with my kids.  I know as they get older and circumstances may change the timing of our own family celebration, but for now, it is perfect.  Ever since 14 years ago when Steve and I anxiously awaited our new baby to get up so we could open gifts with a two-month old.  We were crazy.  Who wants their two month old to wake up????

And the year we had two babies under two?  The same thing.  Banging things around so they would get up.  We were still crazy.  Needless to say…we have learned to let everyone sleep as long as possible.

As our kids get older, Christmas gifts take on a new dimension.  What they ask for and what they want, and what they will actually get are not always the same thing, right?!  In a very real sense, kids are so much easier at Christmas when they are little.  So cherish that time!  Remember the wrapping paper and boxes that were better than the gift they held?  Those were the days!

I had great joy this season in giving my youngest girl a doll.  It used to be tradition for all of my girls to get a baby doll for Christmas.  Obviously, they have outgrown that.  And maybe Kourtney has too?  But for Christmas morning, opening her doll and seeing the excitment—and  when she learned her precious friend got one too?  So awesome.  I had to chuckle when I got a text from her sweet friend that was asking if Kourtney and Abby could come play.  (Abby is her doll’s name.)  So sweet.  Wondering how long these play dates with the dolls will last???
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If I had known how focused Landon would be on his football, basketball, and baseball cards?  He would have gotten these at the age of two.  Oh my goodness.  I don’t get it.  I guess I don’t have to.  I haven’t heard much out of him since Christmas morning…

The oldest girls’ gifts may seem lame to those from the outside.  Shoes? Seriously?  You could not wipe the smiles off their faces.  And the fact that I wear the same size as they do?  You can not wipe the smile off my face!

We spent a day together making returns and spending some Christmas $$ on dressy clothes for the girls for game days (they were raiding my closet for things to wear, so you know they were desperate!), Landon spent $$ on SOCKS (can you believe it?), and eating more food together.  Steve had one more day off and we actually made it out of our home and to Wichita before 8:30 am.  And home before 6:00 pm!  Popped some popcorn and watched a movie, squeezing in every last minute of every hour of Steve’s Christmas vacation time.
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Natalie told me that she was sad that Christmas was over.  That the shopping day yesterday felt like the years in the past when we shopped together BEFORE Christmas.  I will admit, it kind of did.  But Christmas is not over.  We head to my Dad’s the weekend after Christmas each year where the celebration continues.  What a wonderful week of family and celebration.  And we are thankful for these days where we can just sit and take it all in.  Because soon, I’m going to make them help me clean this house.  VERY soon, in fact.

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