christmas present

dsc_0067-1

“Come in, — come in! and know me better, man! I am the Ghost of Christmas Present. Look upon me! You have never seen the like of me before!”

I’m going to be completely honest with you, by yesterday evening I was filled with glee because I was glad Christmas was over….and by “Christmas” I mean all the buying of gifts, wrapping, baking, cleaning, and so on.  I really wish Santa WAS real, it would save me a lot of work.  It’s fun and all, but only to a certain extent, and then the stress kicks in and you start to wonder if the gifts are okay and if they will be received with gladness and if the children will be healthy and then it becomes your time of the month on top of it all, which explains why you were grumpy that one night when the kids had friends over and it was all you could do not to go in your room and shut the door because your head felt as if it would explode…….

But then your husband helps you find the presents in all the secret hiding spots and tells you numerous times that you did a great job and gives you little kisses and it’s Christmas Eve and the boys keep trying to get up without ever even going to sleep and you say over and over to yourself in that still small voice, “remember these moments”…….because you know even if you do at this moment wish things were a little quieter– someday you just might wish things were back to chaotic for an hour or two.  Maybe.

dsc_0049-1

On Christmas Eve we crave cinnamon rolls and thanks to my friend April we also made orange rolls for the first time and boy were they heavenly.

dsc_0064

I totally fell in love with The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  I’ve seen the movie through the years and have read the book a few times but this year I became a true and devoted fan of the story.  It’s so rich and beautiful.  It has everything; loss, darkness, greed, selfishness, ghosts, hauntings, music, bitter cold, snow, old city life, memorable characters, lessons learned, truth, love, nostalgia, joy, smiles, laughter, and a HAPPY ENDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So I read the book again, which of course is the very best way to experience the story, and then watched two of the movies and I watched them with as much full attention as I could (without my phone next to me).

And lest you think my opening confession was rather Scrooge-like, let me clarify that I wholeheartedly love Christmas for what it truly is supposed to be; giving and receiving, yes, but also heart and soul, togetherness, beauty, family and friends.  Those are the qualities of Christmas that I love the most, & I know you do, too.

“For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.”

dsc_0059

“He was consious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares, long, long, forgotten.”

dsc_0047

“I have always thought of Christmastime, when it has come round…as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”

dsc_0045

(Caleb was feeling under the weather and buried himself in blankets and pillows as he watched TV) soooo cute

dsc_0024

Ethan is home from college and my heart is content to have all the children with us again.

dsc_0029

15732389_10154650367921343_3583672287575392851_o

Abundance.

15776724_10154650368061343_2932638900759779796_o

waking up the sleepy heads

15676349_10154650368516343_1461275072871939633_o

We unwrapped all the presents and then got ready for Church.

15726524_10154647235101343_1055142840329377542_n

Seth had a candy cane in his mouth and Ethan had crest white strips on his teeth.  I didn’t know this until on the way to church when I had time to study the photos and ask questions.

I thought Sarah’s Christmas hair was adorable.  I put it in two pigtails, pulled the hair through half way, and then pinned on gold bows.  She of course, hated it, but I told her too bad.  And with a compromise, she didn’t have to wear a fancy dress.

15774822_10154648142321343_6318546809484574532_o

My camera heart gravitates toward the child who doesn’t get to attend church with us during the school year anymore….it was so nice to see him in the pew as I looked over at my sons in a row.

15675632_10154648138211343_8533106835919243750_o

Rich and Grace both had small parts in the service so they sat in front.  To be honest, I made Rich come back to sit with me as his part wasn’t until almost the end of the service and I didn’t want to sit there alone without my husband the whole time.

15724827_10154648146491343_3819037019576074796_o

Caleb got a hug…….

15676055_10154648144041343_2743400405250338482_o

Sarah found a listening ear…………

15774795_10154648147041343_4717589726485994897_o

Grace read from Luke chapter 2……….

15774990_10154648151846343_2549483530839013192_o

Best friends and brothers in Christ.

(Michael took a photo of the family for me but I’m not going to post it until next month (year) because I never sent out Christmas cards, therefore I am sending out New Years cards with a family photo and I don’t want to show anyone the picture yet or it will be boring to send out in the mail).

15724586_10154650369171343_8365062109311650782_o

After church I made a ham dinner and then was filled with the feeling that all was accomplished and I could rest.  It was a most blessed evening of being so very relaxed with all the children around us.

15732510_10154648152166343_3107797448721088488_o

15724532_10154650368896343_780661753994425719_o

dsc_0133-1

15676356_10154650362576343_1356619400483064569_o

I’m in the midst of the the book on top, which is something I bought a few years ago but just got around to reading.  It is very very good (high quality writing).  Sigrid Undset also wrote Kirsten Lavransdatter which is an amazing book.  The rest of the titles are from my husband based on my explicit instructions.

How thankful I am through it all, for the blessings of our life, the warmth, the joy, the endless little surprises from living with children, and for most of all, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the eternal life He has given.  God is so good and we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses that prove all of what He truly means to us.  I’m so glad He loves us just the way we are.

Merry Christmas!

“I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!”

“His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.”

PS, Penny, I wrote this post for you.  (because you encouraged me).  xoxoxo loves.

5 thoughts on “christmas present

  1. (smiling so big). 😀 Made me chuckle out loud at the end. Beautiful photos of a beautiful day. We have so much in common. Growing children, still little children…the same joys, heartaches, sorrows.

  2. I ordered my Christmas cards a while back but they never came in time so I’ll be handing them out for new years as well:) I’ll be mailing you one:)
    Your post made me smile. Oh how I relate every time!

  3. I just finished All the Light We Cannot See-One of the best books I’ve ever read! I always enjoy your posts. Been reading you for years but never commented. 🙂 You have a lovely family, thank you for sharing with us! Blessings!

  4. What a beautiful post! And yes, when the kids have grown and have families of their own, you miss all the noise and bustle of being together, the cooking, tucking everyone in for bed, reading bedtime stories,…etc… Now we get those times really only for holidays and vacations. Time goes by so fast. Cherish every second. I’m having fun now with my grand children… enjoying the fact that the cycle begins again… reading, bath time, tucking in… breakfast cinnamon rolls (we do that, too!). I treasure the time together. Have a great week and blessed New Year!! xo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s