Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas alive

Christmases have always been special for me; each with it's own general mood and feeling. Some spent close to home and some away visiting my grandparents or other family. But this one was different for me....bigger possibly, yet quieter. Maybe more settled than ever before...more grown up? I am not sure exactly the change but I can say that without a doubt today As we enjoyed our Sunday December 30th together home as a family I was not yet ready for it to end. I think my oldest daughter Emy felt the same as she set up her tiny new precious moments nativity from Memere and Pepere in her room, smiling at the little baby Jesus with his bit of curly hair, she told me decidedly that she wanted it to stay out all year. I chose a favorite Christmas CD to put on for the little girls' bedtime music and read an extra three chapters to Emy tonight, enjoying the freedom of time that comes with holidays home together. I think her and I would have loved simpler times...pioneer days on the prairies, maybe even on this very spot where we live now. We are two of a kind in the way we love life. Simple joys and moments of heart are our greatest riches.



But back to this Christmas; I think that it is quite possible that the true spirit of the season lived in my heart in a bigger way than ever before. It was as if it all came together just right and created a kind of glow, a contented fullness and true joy. I am trying to give words to something that is so hard to describe...easier to feel...almost tangible.



This year was not filled full with all of my usual handmade holiday projects ( a first since...well, as long as I can remember) Our tree was not a wonderful masterpiece by most standards, but a delight to us. It stands here, still spreading its warm glow beside me with funny clusters of carefully placed candy canes, sweet little ornaments that the girls made for us, as well as a very lovely paper chain. There are small teddy bears that have been nestled in the lower branches by chubby little hands, and some Christmas cards have made their way to nest here and there. It was the girl's masterpiece this year and that makes it one very happy tree.


I didn't spend the weeks before Dec.25th in the malls looking for perfect presents. This year instead of Christmas being what I may have thought it should be in the past, I just soaked it all in.

I slowed down to "feel" the true holiday spirit and embrace it. I turned off my computer completely and read 8 great Christmas books that all touched my heart. We took the children to Bethlehem live at a nearby church to take in the sights and sounds of the very first Christmas, and my dear friend Kristie took me to see Steve Bell's Christmas concert with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

This year the impact of baby Jesus was really huge.
Of course we have always known the story; we have grown up making little Christmas crafts in Sunday school, and we can say the lines of the Angel with our eyes closed. But the fact that God came to earth as a tiny baby, just as we all do, and was born in a stable where the animals live. The fact that God came down at Christmas to live among us, well, it is like us going down to live in the mud with the worms, and that is pretty darn cool! I read that comparison in "The Christmas Shoes" as the mother in the story talks to her son about Christmas being a time for Miracles, and I thought it the perfect description.

The significance of that first Christmas seems bigger to me this year than it ever has in the past...more real..more present. And if He could give such a miracle to us, then I felt like maybe we needed to look a little bit farther ourselves, to pass on the love and blessings that we feel all year long. This year we had a special project on our hearts and we did our best as a family to spend the week before Christmas gathering special gifts, baking and preparing everything we would bring to a sweet family in need on Christmas day. I hope they really felt our love.
The girls were just shining as they helped to carry presents and cookies to the door and share their sweet little greetings. I think that was my very favorite '07 Holiday moment. I am feeling like the spirit of this Christmas needs to go on all year, and I think it will. We will eventually take down this adorable tree, and at some point I may not be putting on The Merry tunes for bedtime, but I think that Christmas will live in our hearts every day until next year when hopefully we can experience another season of such beauty and love.

wishes of peace and Joy to you and yours.
Merry Christmas

4 comments:

inara said...

So glad to see you're back! I love all the things that you wrote! And I am glad you have your priorities straight! You have 3 precious little ones and "they are only little for so long"...I don't have any little ones...I am glad you treasure your girls as you should, as the God-given gift that they are...

Jinglbells said...

How true a blessing that Jesus came to us. So glad you took time to appreciate that this year and to renew yourself. Glad to see you back!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi from NZ! I was just looking back at some of your older stuff and really enjoyed what you said about Christmas! I hope it touched lots of readers. Preach it sister!

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