I love the holidays. It might be just me, but they seem to get better with every year… maybe as one gets older, they learn to appreciate the changes of the seasons, the joy children have in Halloween, the overwhelming gratitude in your heart during Thanksgiving, the sheer beauty of Christmas, and the excitement of the New Year in all it’s unearthed possibilities. I’m sitting here, in my favorite spot in the early morning, looking at our beautiful Christmas tree, with a hot cup of coffee and just enjoying the silence and peace.
We’ve been looking forward to all the traditions we have started to do over the years, going to our Riverwalk to see the magical display of Christmas lights at night & hearing the carolers ride by in boats, taking our son to see Santa, having a Christmas cookie decorating party (this year we’re doing it for my son and some of his friends), writing the letter to Santa, telling the stories my son’s already heard, but loves so much, about the real reason for our Christmas celebrations – the birth of baby boy, because God loved the world so much.
Our second son’s due-date is Christmas Day, so it’s a treat to be pregnant at this time – not only am I justified in eating generous portions of all the amazing wonderful foods of the season 🙂 , I feel the wonderment of the baby’s movement, the excitement of his coming, and think of how Mary might’ve felt a whirlwind of emotions as well. I’m sure she felt fear, traveling during her third trimester to her husband’s family town… and anxiety, going into labor & being almost left to have the baby in the streets of Bethlehem before the inn keeper let them into his barn.
But I’m also pretty sure Mary felt the beauty of Christ’s birth, the wonderment, and the blessing. The Bible says she heard and saw all these things (the shepherds coming and telling them of the angels) and pondered them in her heart.
I’m sure she treasured them. I want to treasure this time, too, the wholeness of the holidays – embracing them with open arms and open heart so that our family experiences the joy of Christmas.
Give your children the gift of beautiful memories – good memories – not of grouchy parents, mean-spirited relatives, the unpleasant feeling of rushing to holiday function, and party after party – but beautiful memories of happiness & peace being in your home.