Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas and more

Christmas is always a busy time and this year was no exception. I compare it to planning a wedding. You spend the entire month ( except in the case of a wedding it's usually longer) before preparing for the big day. Every spare minute you have revolves around the buying and wrapping of presents, the planning of meals, baking, decorating, sending cards, etc.... And then it's here and gone in the blink of an eye. Every year I say it's going to be different and every year it comes and goes just like the year before.

We were fortunate enough this year to have my mom and dad and my grandmother join us for Christmas. Usually on Christmas Eve, we go to church and then come home and have lots of appetizers and then open presents. This year we did something a little different. We had a nice sit down dinner and then let the kids open two presents. Our intention was for them to open one present but it turned into a battle so we relented and let them open an extra one. Instead of going to the Christmas Eve service on Christmas Eve, we actually went on Sunday since our church had the same service for both days. Then we all gathered around the Christmas tree and my dad read the Christmas story out of the Bible. Haley then read Twas the Night Before Christmas.

The kids all slept together in Haley's room. When we put them to bed Christmas Eve we told them they were not to come and wake us up before 7 a.m. Of course we should have been more specific and told them not to wake anyone up because they went in and woke my dad up at 6. Anyhow, after checking to make sure Santa actually brought them some stuff, we let them go downstairs.

The big hit of the day was the Wii that Santa left. The kids (and their father) have enjoyed it tremendously. The kids also got a lot of other nice things such as a camera, Lego's, remote control cars, etc.

Harrison got a disposable camera in his stocking and he was taking pictures with it indiscriminately. My dad looked at the camera and told Harrison he needed to save some pictures for later because he already had taken 26 pictures. Harrison's reply was to take another picture and say "27", then he took another and said "28". At least we know he can count.

We had a large breakfast and a late Christmas dinner. My sister-in-law and her son and grandkids joined us for dinner. They stayed for a while and then my brother-in-law, his wife and kids came over and played some on the Wii. At one point, there were 15 of us in my house.

I feel very fortunate that my family is close enough to join us for this special holiday. All in all it was a very nice Christmas but I think that next year, I will try to do less and enjoy it more. As my mother said, we should all savor the moments because it will never be exactly this way again. This was the only Christmas that my kids would be 5, 8 and 11. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the quest for the perfect Christmas that we forget it isn't about all the stuff, it's about spending time with each other and celebrating the greatest gift ever, the gift of God's love and forgiveness expressed in the birth of his son, Jesus Christ.

May all your Christmas' be merry and bright........................