Well, nothing says New Year's Resolutions like Valentine's Day you know. Uh, I mean... well, let's just say I didn't make any New Year's Resolution that said I would blog on time or regularly or anything really=D
Let's all think back to a little over a month ago. We were rushing around, cleaning the house, wrapping last minute gifts, going to parties, making last minute plans and of course recognizing that we forgot something or worse, someone! Just days before Christmas the anticipation was building and I could tell everyone was experiencing high stress as they were traveling house to house, visiting family and celebrating Christmas over and over again. So many people I know were SO done with Christmas by the end of Christmas day that they stripped their house of all evidence of Christmas within a day or two. Which is unfortunate because Christmas Day is only the beginning of Christmas, Christmas actually lasts until January 6th.
That's 2 weeks to bask in the glory of our Savior that was lost. All the rushing, eating and stressing causes so many of us to not live in the joy of His presence and we miss it! What a bummer. But you know what? I can't blame any of you that spent your December as I described above. I remember Christmas's like that and though Jason and I have been Christ Followers since our first married Christmas together we've constantly struggled with the competition that Christ has on His day.
We've done so much to try and de-emphasize the importance of everything but Christ and each year we were able to gain a little ground with our family as they tried their hardest to allow us to raise our children with Christ being the focus of Christmas. But every year we were left feeling the same, like we didn't honor Him fully. Well this year I think we hit a nerve because we experienced satisfaction beyond our wildest dreams. It's because we spent Christmas with the family Christ has given us here in our new home.
We missed our parents and siblings and extended family of course but there's just something that tells me Christmas isn't about your blood relatives and I understand this is a SUPER touchy subject with almost every person on earth but I think we should realize that if spending time with family on Christmas means you lose the meaning of Christmas, maybe it's not the right time to spend time together.... I really do love you family that are reading this. I'm just being honest.
So what did we do that was so amazingly awesome? We spent time with people that we love that are right here. We hosted our friends John & Ashley and their wonderful baby girl Madison as well as Ashley's parents and sister. They came to our house, we ate together, loved one another through conversation and games and then they went home, leaving us filled with the Spirit. We went through our Christmas eve routine of PJs, photos, opening Grandma's Christmas presents and then reading the Christmas Story (the one in the bible). We tucked the children into bed and began preparations for Christmas Day.
On Christmas morning everyone woke up and opened stockings (they let me sleep late which was one of my best presents). We divided the presents out and I started snapping the camera again. When the question arose about Santa not coming to our house I simply said, "look at your pile of presents, look how many people love you. You don't need Santa to bring you more things, your family sent you so much love already." They were satisfied with that=)
Then we continued our morning with our usual breakfast of sticky buns and cocoa and then played with all our awesome new toys. We cleaned up and began cooking. We were having our single neighbor over as she wasn't going home at Christmas this year and we off the cuff invited some of our new friends over. Everyone came. We played, we ate, we shared stories, we cleaned, we enjoyed each others company, we loved our children and then we realized that it's in these moments we celebrate our Savior's arrival. Not in the presents and family gatherings, but in the time we spend with each other where we are joyful and attentive to one another, loving each other exactly as we are and interested in learning more.
We learned this Christmas that celebrating Christ isn't a painful process. And it's not about who can buy the most meaningful gift. It's about giving the most meaningful gift you have to offer others and that's your time and your love.
I know some of you are still upset thinking I'm suggesting you can't offer your time and love to your family members, but be really honest most of us take our family for granted and don't truthfully enjoy their time and accept their love. We like to create drama even when there isn't any reason for drama to justify ourselves because we can't possibly see how anyone could love us, I mean really, truly, unconditionally, perfectly love us. But I promise you, that you don't need to do that. Christ loves you, and so do I.
- ▼ February (4)