Friday, December 27, 2013

making merry



What a wonderful week it has been. Brad has been off on vacation all week so we've been taking it easy, enjoying each moment as much as possible. That means we've stayed up late watching movies. We've slept in until the sun woke us (rather than the alarm clock.) We've putted around the house just enjoying each other's company. It's always so nice to have him home.

Christmas day was very enjoyable as well. We did our gifts in the morning followed by a light lunch at my parents'. Then my in-laws came over mid-afternoon to exchange gifts and visit. And then everyone joined us at our home for dinner in the evening. This year I ordered our Christmas ham from a local butcher, and it was SO delicious. He butchers, makes his own brine, and then hickory smokes each ham, and it made such a huge difference! So much better than a grocery store ham!

We opted for Christmas paper plates and napkins this year. And I didn't go all out and make an elaborate centerpiece for the table. In fact, we didn't have a centerpiece at all. This was hard for me. In fact, I asked Brad several times if he thought it was okay that I didn't have a centerpiece and use our fabric napkins and tablecloths. One thing I know for sure is that being sick really forced me to slow down and lower my expectations (mostly of myself), and this was a really good, positive thing. It was so nice to just relax and really enjoy the day.

And I was so thankful when we woke up Christmas morning to an inch or so of snow. I really love the snow this year which is very much unlike me. However, I've decided that the bright white snow is so much nicer than the gray and brown that we often experience here. And so I was even further delighted when we woke up yesterday morning to three or four more inches of snow. It was perfect. Last night, we dragged our sleds out behind the house and spent time sledding. Ian was so excited to be able to try out his new snowboard. It was a wonderful evening, and we wrapped it up by snuggling up on the couches with a movie.

There is much to be said about purposely and consciously slowing down. I did almost all of my Christmas shopping online. We only baked one kind of cookie (our traditional gingerbread.) We kept the busyness to a minimum. And I enjoyed it.

Right now, Brad is getting ready to take the kids out in the snow again. I'm still in my jammies (oh boy), enjoying a mug of hot tea, looking out our back doors at the snow softly falling out of the sky. Instrumental Christmas music is softly playing in the background. And in my mind? Well, I've been reflecting on the greatness of this holiday. The miraculous birth of a baby that would grow to become the Savior of the world. And this meditation fills my heart with such joy and peace and gratitude. And I've been struck with the thought that I can enjoy Christmas every day really. Because Christmas is not about the cookies, the ham, the gifts, the parties (although those things are fun). Christmas is about reflecting on the gift of the Father. The gift of His Son Jesus. And for that I am so grateful. I find myself understanding the Scripture from Luke 2:19 that says, "But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart."

I pray that you would all have a wonderful week fully of merry and joy and peace.

5 comments:

born ambitious. born imaginative. said...

I don't think you lowered your expectations at all. I think you thought things over and picked what mattered. I just love reading your reflection and seeing your pictures. Your narrative is sounds exactly how I always wanted our CHristmas' to be when I dreamed of having a family. :)

Lulu said...

you have a beautiful family..i love seeing pics of your dogie, so adorable..
wishing you happy, stress free days in the new year..

Pam said...

Love the update of your lovely Christmas. We did many things very similarly. We wished for snow also, but didn't get any. We did get to go sledding, though; which was wonderful fun.

Happy New Year, and Many blessings,
Pam

Pam said...

Love the update of your lovely Christmas. We did many things very similarly. We wished for snow also, but didn't get any. We did get to go sledding, though; which was wonderful fun.

Happy New Year, and Many blessings,
Pam

Rachel E. said...

I always enjoy your pictures. Happy new year.