Last year we had our first, and likely last, trip out to the Hero's family for Christmas. It was hard to watch the Hero get hurt by his own family but it was harder to see it happen to our children- it was just horrible. Thankfully, there are a few lovely family members out there who genuinely love and care about our children. They made up for the ugliness of Christmas eve and day. So in the midst of crappy memories they also have some very happy ones.
It has been many years since we have spent a Christmas with my family. We have had many Christmas' alone and they are all lovely memories of closeness, reflection on the true meaning of the holiday, no strees and tons of fun!! We so loved being on our own schedule, staying in our jammies til noon, playing with all the fun gifts and enjoying each other. My childhood memories of Christmas are of Martha Stewart going crazy trying to make everything perfect. I remember much tension in the household every year we hosted dinner. I love Martha dearly but she is a perfectionist by nature and it's her way or the highway so to speak. Throw my Hero, who thrives on chaos, into that mix and I walk a tight rope trying to balance the mood of the day. It is so stressful for me. I'm trying to alleviate the stress of the day by preparing several dishes to take. We only live a little over an hour away so we can have our Christmas Eve and morning together. I am so very thankful for that. I hope and pray that the rest of the day is stress free and full of joy. I'm trying to be optimistic about it but history tells me that I need to brace myself for drama and stress.
So tonight I will concentrate on the things I love about Christmas. I love......
- sitting in the dark with only the lights on the tree
- watching the children play with the nativities and tell the story of Christ's birth in their own words
- giving gifts that are well recieved
- the smells of baking, turkey, all that yummy holiday food
- Christmas music
- lighting the advent wreath as a family
- hiding the Christmas pickle and watching the kids hunt for it
- The Hero with all the crew snuggled around him while he reads the Christmas story from the Bible on Christmas Eve
- Making the birthday cake for Jesus and singing Happy Birthday!
- that the house looks so festive with all our decorations, it's like we are ready for a celebration every day
- filling our shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and helping out with Santa's elves or whatever charity we chose to give to during the holidays.
- blessing strangers or people on the fringe of our life with unexpected surprises
- that in the midst of the hustle and bustle you can change the mood of a crowded line with a smile and a friendly word, that there are still people out there that care enough about those around them that they give up something to insure that others have a Merry Christmas.
- that Jesus was sent to earth so that we would be saved.
I pray that you would all have the most blessed Christmas! Try to remember the things you love and don't let the things that stress you steal away from the joy of the season. I know that is what I will try to do. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!