Well, before the crew headed off to Mimi’s last weekend, we found our tree.
This year there was no snow like last year. But, like last year, we went out late in the day (which is becoming part of the tradition, it seems), so it was dark before we got home.
I must admit that I tend to get a little crabby sometimes on these treks. We’re just completely disorganized about it. We head in one direction, then another direction…the kids run around hollering at the top of their lungs…we find it hard to decide and just keep looking for just one more…
Ironic that I wrote about how to have fun while picking out your Christmas tree as if the kids are the problem. I followed my own advice so we didn’t have grumpy kids–we had a grumbling momma!
But looking back over the pictures I realize once again what precious, precious moments these are. All my favorite, most loved people in the whole wide world, all in one place. Together.
There’s nothing better that I could ever ask for.
The kids were enjoying themselves. They ran around shouting and finding animal tracks and just generally making more noise and disruption than a stampeding herd of elephants. Who knew deer hunting dog tracks were that exciting? We see them every day!
Mr. Fix-It was trying to find us just the right tree that we could all be happy with and that would make our Christmas morning special. And I was there gritting my teeth and murmuring behind my camera…it was not my shining moment.
The holidays are just still hard for me. I try to get in the spirit, but I feel so much pressure remember how good our holidays at home were. I’m just still trying to adjust to making our own holiday celebrations–which seems kinda silly after being married for 10 years and having 3 kids. I should be an old pro at this. And the fact that I’m not just makes me even sadder. I just miss my Mom at Christmas. She loved the holiday and you couldn’t help but feel Christmas-y around her.
It scares me that I could be dragging Christmas down for my crew with my poor attitude.
But I’m also determined to let go of it. I’m determined not to beat myself up about it and just keep moving forward.
So what if we didn’t get our tree up until the week before? So what if we didn’t get our lights up until the week before? So what if I don’t get all the cookies baked or the handmade cards out to everyone? So what if I don’t get the Christmas jammies sewn like I wanted to–we will buy some for Saturday and turn the others into New Years Eve jammies–it’s still Christmas!
It’s not about us or our traditions or our expectations.
It’s about the hope that entered the world with the birth of Christ. The hope that I cling to, to redeem the holidays for myself and my broken heart. “…old things are past away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17b)
I look through these pictures of my sweet, beloved family, and my heart just fills and overflows with love.
I think about the handful of activities I do think we’ll get done in the next few days, and I feel a little stirring of excitement.
I think about the love-gifts we have to put under our tree for our crew, and I feel a little spring of joy.
I think about the miracle of Mary’s testimony…it lays heavy on my heart at this time of year…and I feel the soft stirring of true Christmas magic in my heart.
Joy. Peace. Love.
Christmas is coming. I can feel it.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is giving: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller; The mighty God, The everlasting Father; the Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:8)
“They came from near, they came from far Following a distance star, to where He lay Not being sure of what it meant, but knowing it was heaven-sent They made their way And the creatures gathered ’round And didn’t make a sound And the angels cried. The angels knew what was to come
The reason God had sent His son
From up above
It filled their hearts with joy to see and
Knowing of His destiny
Came tears of love And the creatures gathered ’round And didn’t make a sound And the angels criedI’ve often thought about that night
And wondered if they realized
That star so bright
Was sent to tell all the land
The Son of God would soon become
The Son of Man
And the creatures gathered ’round
And didn’t make a sound
And the angels cried ”