Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Morning.

Christmas was everything I'd ever dreamed and more. First there was the Christmas cookies left out for Santa (his reindeer, you will note, nibbled a bit at the carrot).
The magic glow of Christmas lights twinkled on the packages and it was hard to go to sleep in anticipation of the next morning. And what's better than seeing the children pass one another gifts and sharing?Except for, maybe, a Santa Baby, keeping her little hat on THE ENTIRE MORNING.Later, Claire read to us from her new book from Grandmother and Grandfather, while everyone else worked on keeping Auntie Farrah warm.Miss Claire and I got matching stockings- WHAT a suprise!
Can anything top a bike for Christmas? Maybe...if it's a CHRISTMAS PUPPY! (A PUPPY- can you believe that?!?!)And I truly loved my Christmas gift- a portrait of Rudolph. I believe the medium used was what the experts refer to as "Magic Marker."
And then comes Grandma with her freshly baked orange rolls and Christmas cocoa with REAL whipped cream for breakfast- getting diabeties has never been so delightful!This just made my day. Clarie keeps a journal about her baby sister. It reads: "It's Camille's first Christmas! She got a baby puppy and clothes and a snowman picture from Claire."Now this girl knows how to do a Christmas dinner. Why bother with clothes if you're just going to get pudding pie on them anyway?I think this photo sums up our Christmas morning perfectly:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas, Morning.

Throughout college I spent Christmas working a Tree Farm and finding out I'm allergic to pine (embarrassing, I know) and shuffling around to various friend's houses. As I've gotten older and moved around more, it's been harder on my pride factor to attend a friend's family for a few days and not feel like an imposition (as great as those families have been to have me- a 30something houseguest in a full house of virtual strangers seems a bit much). So the last few years I've spent Christmas at the beach and usually entertain other locals or out-of-towners with nowhere to go with the Ultimate Traditional Christmasfest wherever it is I'm living. Last year we made a real, live (not anymore) goose and everything. I even put some real potatoes in with my favourite potato pearls! Fancy. I know.

This year, one of my best friends from college called and invited me to her house for their traditional Mexican Christmas Eve dinner- but we realized I wouldn't be done with work in time to see the kids perform their traditional Nativity Scene (I've never actually seen one of these!) or her oldest child's newest puppet show OR get to hear them sing carols.
Work is ruining my life.
So last night we decided I would just get in late- help put the kids to bed- and then sleep over so I could experience a real Christmas morning. And by "real," I mean, the-kind-of-Christmas-morning-were-kids-wake-up-and-run-screaming-into-the-living-room-to-rip-apart-everything-left-under-the-tree. I cannot even express how excited I am to finally get to experience that. I truly believe I have waited my entire life to experience a Real Christmas like that. (I'm getting a bit teary in just thinking about it.)

As an only child from a rather humble background, we never really did presents. I might get a used game of magnets or something equally sad. When I lived with my grandparents, we were allowed to open stockings as early as we liked, but (as with everything else indoors) we were to handle ourselves at the utmost of decorum. Meaning, everyone in the house was to get dressed, be prepared for the day, sit down for breakfast and patiently wait for the other cousins to arrive. Then, one by one, we would open our one gift from Santa. Usually a used book from grampa's astounding collection from the barn, or sometimes we'd get really lucky with a group gift, like a new sled for us to share or a teddy bear.

Knowing this, my friend hesitated, warning, "I kind of thought about this- and I thought, 'I'm not sure how Farrah's going to handle Christmas morning'..."
"Do the kids wake up at 6 and freak out and just tear everything apart?"
"Well...we do try to encourage a little bit of order- to go slowly so the rest of us can wake up and adjust and take pictures, but...yeah. That's kind of what it's like."
"And we still have to get some things done, like put together Claire's bike and assemble the racetrack for Colin..."
"O my gosh! Claire's getting a BIKE for CHRISTMAS!?!?" (See what I mean? A BIKE and a RACE CAR TRACK!?!? ALREADY assembled!?!? Under the tree!??! Now THIS is a Real Christmas!)
"Yeah, so, you can help us do all that when they all go to bed-"
Nothing could make me more excited. In fact, I honestly believe that I might be the one with the hardest time going to bed and the I might even be the first one to wake up, I'm anticipating Christmas morning so much.

In preparation for my first Real Christmas morning, I went to bed at 10:30pm last night, so I could be ready for what a 6 am wake up on the couch with several children would be like. I got up and prayed that I would have a Christ-centered Christmas; that I would remain focused on the Savior and His work and my relationship with Him. A few minutes later, I opened the curtain to meet this:

It took my breath away. I haven't seen a sunrise like this in quite some time- probably months. To be so caught up in work and change and daily routines and all those little things that easily absorb your day, it's easy to miss out on the grandeur the Lord provides us every day. Every day, we have reminders that the Lord is present in our lives. We just need to open our curtains and stop long enough and remember to notice.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holidays- Heyyy!

I realize this may not make up for an extended absence, but I want you to know, Friendship IS the most important thing this holiday season.