Without question, the most important part of Christmas is the reason we have Christmas at all. It's a celebration of the birth of Jesus. What this celebration affords is nothing short of an annual miracle. It's not Christmas morning that makes Christmas magical. I love Christmas morning, but it's all of the other things the season affords that make it truly special. Time with family. Special events. A spirit of giving. Extra smiles.
The Little Moments
- Sarah's blatant refusal to sit on Santa's lap with accompanying frown.
My mother-in-law aptly commented that it looked like she was about to kick him in the shins. Wouldn't surprise me a bit.
- As I sat in the breakfast area of my mother-in-law's house, I overheard her say from the kitchen, "The nut cake fell." She says this all the time so I scoffed at her "fallen" cake and assured her it would be fine. Then I looked at it....
That was no exaggeration. We laughed and laughed about this. It was a great way to end a very emotionally draining day.
- Sarah happily digging into a present in which paper Christmas napkins had been subbed for tissue paper, pulling out the napkin and enthusiastically proclaiming, "I got a towel!" as if that's the thing she wanted the most in the world. And to think, we could have just gotten her some household paper products for Christmas...
- While the boys went outside to shoot their new official Red Ryder carbine action bb gun, I watched Abby play a round of catch with a giant Tinkerbell ball with her 84-year-old great-Grandmom & Aunt Janet. (And why I didn't get a picture of that, I will never know.)
- Watching Sarah "wink" at Uncle Jon across the dinner table. We're not exactly sure what she was actually doing, but it was definitely really, really hard blinking.
- Experiencing cold weather in Williamsburg, Virginia with the kids. Abby declared, "It feels like winter!" And Ben, with amazement noticed, "It's SO cold, you can see your breath!" (We don't get too much winter cold in central Georgia.)
- At the tail end of our whirlwind tour of the east coast, we found ourselves at Grandmom and Grandpop's house nearing midnight a few days after Christmas. After the initial excitement wore off, and the kids finally settled down in their beds, around 3am I heard Sarah spinning in disoriented circles in the kitchen crying desperately, "I need Daddy!" It was sweet. Kind of.
- Seeing my three babies playing in Net Net's front yard with grass-stained knees, chalked-up sleeves, and indulging in bowls of ice cream with unlimited refills.
- Sleeping in until 9:00am. (woot woot)
- The adventures in family picture-taking with two year olds:
(That's Grammie bribing lil' Landon with sweet tea to no avail while the rest of the cousins looked on with curiosity.)
That's Ben being charged, yet again, with subduing the most challenging subject, in this case, Jared. His method of choice? The headlock.
After Grandmom insisted on a photo by the tree with all the grandkids, Sarah laid there like a slug. It was her only defense.
- Abby's personal serenade at Busch Gardens by two handsome Festhaus crooners after which she was so shocked/startled/embarrassed that she fell out of her chair...typical.
- Watching Abby fall out of the chair (again) at Grandmom's house using a poinsettia to break her fall. It was so comical, I couldn't even be upset. She grabbed the top of a the plant and slid down the thing stripping it of practically every branch. These types of things can only be captured in one's memory.
- Witnessing some seriously enthusiastic reindeer feeding. In Sarah's case, if the reindeer wanted to actually eat some of the food, they'd need to come inside and pick it out of her hair.
- Disappearing around the pond with the new Gator in near-freezing temperatures, a slight drizzle, and nothing but matching jammies on their bodies.
"Hey! Get back here...we haven't opened presents yet!"
While there's plenty of time to reflect on 2011, and I suspect I'll do that another day, if there's one thing I will always treasure about this Christmas season, it's that I valued my time spent with precious family. We never do know when that might be taken away from us. Sam's sweet 27-year-old cousin was taken Home a few days before Christmas, and while I'm sure everyone would rather have Adam here with us now, and even though he's happy and whole in Heaven, if there's one thing his death reminded me of, it's that we are not guaranteed another day. I hope I continue to remember this. And I hope you will too.
Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and wishing you the most blessed 2012!