Anyway, back from that tangent. Our Christmas was lovely overall, a few bumps along the road but nothing that was entirely unexpected and nothing that I would say ruined Christmas for us. Extended family always has its challenges, especially when said family doesn't have young children and forgets that Christmas is a time of joy and excitement (or when relatives related to our in-laws arrive unexpectedly and while we enjoy their company, clearly not everyone feels the same way that we do and things get TENSE). Anyway, I thought I would share a few of my very favourite moments and reflections of Christmas.
If you've been around here much, you know that I have been frantically knitting blankets for each of my children's favourite stuffies (and we are most certainly a stuffy family). Rabbity and Foxy are now cozily wrapped up in their blankets of love and everyone was very excited by these very simple gifts. It really warms my heart.
Age seems to be irrelevant in our circle of friends and one of our dearest visits each Christmas morning, dressed as Father Christmas, and brings a sack full of the toys for the kidlets and then, we overeat bacon and eggs. Her husband died five years ago and Christmas suddenly became very lonely for her. She had extended family that would welcome her but she felt lost. She decided that Christmas is for children and she was going to use mine as her "rent-a-grandkids." We LOVE this tradition (other than that it became clear, through a very confusing conversation, that LB thinks that she is the real Santa and is very perplexed by it all - Dh says we are just giving him a strong need for therapy later in life). Anyway, it is a beautiful way to start the day and a tradition that we all look forward to very much!
As you can see, bacon, egg and toast is Lb's favourite breakfast and was a perfect way to celebrate.
Church on Christmas morning was also something that we really enjoyed. In the past, our church didn't do a service on Christmas and this is the first time that we have been at a church that did. It seemed like a perfect way to honour the birth of Jesus and it worked out beautifully. After our friend left, we got dressed and headed to church in jeans and cozy boots and bearing stuffies. It was a "cinnamon bun and coffee" service and everyone was invited to bring their munchies and drinks right into the sanctuary and enjoy as we sang favourite carols, praised the birth of our Lord and listened to the importance of the "indescribable gift" (2 Cor 9:15) and how to be gifts ourselves. It was absolutely lovely and I couldn't have asked for me.
LB is in a very large fox stage and as part of his gifts, "Foxy" gained several new friends (who have been named Toxy, Poxy and Soxy). LB felt that they needed to visit the baby, too, and since it was a barn and there are animals there, they would be welcome.
Most of all, I have just been overcome by a feeling of gratitude. Our Christmas is not the most elaborate and I have always been envious of big families and crazy but filled-with-love gatherings that some families have. We don't have an overabundance of gifts (although we all do very well, thank you). We don't do expensive trips and it's always a tight squeeze since none of us live in huge homes with professionally arranged decor. All that being said, though, I am so blessed to have loving family, really, really, really kind and generous friends (and a few very, very thoughtful gifts that reflected that the giver knew me well meant a great deal to me) and cozy traditions the treasure made it a Christmas filled with joy and awe for me. I am such a lucky woman and I hope that your celebration has reminded you of the many blessings in your life, as well!