I had a good friend call me today and ask how my Christmas “time” was going. And this is how I went from there…more or less…
The days have been good. Pleasant. Happy. Joyful. Though…quiet. Not full of “magical” flare or rushing around or many gifts. In fact, there are no gifts under our tree yet, and I am way more content about that than in years past. My 8 year old asked, after having seen his friend’s tree with many gifts underneath, “why don’t we get to have gifts?” I really am trying to know how to impress the “true gift” of Christmas while also enjoying the tangible gift giving we do as a people. There is nothing wrong with having gifts under the tree; in fact next week we will. I’m just not “there” yet on how we are to teach more of Him and less of stuff.
The days have truly been simple. Steady, though bare of extras. (That is partially due to our financial state and partially to our – hopefully – growing spiritual understanding.) I haven’t gotten the same thrill from the Christmas movies or the Crosby and Sinatra songs this year. Rather, I’ve been listening to this over and over and can’t seem to get enough…praise enough! The parties and baking have been less, but the spiritual awakening and the counting have been more.
It’s been as it should be…for this year. I was thinking about how families have traditions…activities and events they do every year. We have yet to have many traditions…very little happens the same way twice around here! I suppose Christmas morning stays pretty static…coffee cake and fried eggs for breakfast, video recording Christmas morning, reading the “birth story” from Luke 2, opening gifts, and making a birthday cake for Jesus. But some years we have had to be flexible when we have shared Christmas with family, away from our home. I suppose if there is one true tradition in our family at Christmas, it’s that we’re all together and He is here too.
So, how is my “Christmas time” this year? It is as it should be for 2011. A simple tree, a simple advent, simple days with simple activities, simple desires. Less hustle and bustle, less bought gifts, less gathering, less us. More peace, more calm, more rest, more quiet, more Him. (He could have chosen to reveal Himself in the parties and purchased items as He has done in the past, but this year, these are the gifts. Just like in the former years…the former times…He is good…and His gifts are good. It is well with my soul!)
Miss Grace reaching up to hold my hand
Hannah singing next year’s anthem
Hannah sitting on the floor “reading” her book
popcorn crumbs on the floor
drops of tea spilt on the counter
pulling up to candle lights gleaming in the windows
coming home to him
cleaning the kitchen with the kids singing Christmas songs
painting toenails with Hannah
walking into a clean kitchen
getting a “good morning” greeting and hug from Christopher first thing this morning
preparing gifts to “Come Let Us Adore Him”