christmas / family life

two nights before Christmas…

“On the night before Christmas, all through the house,

all the people were stirring, even the mouse…

So I went to the lawn and in a moment,

I had fallen asleep…

Until I woke up and looked at the sky.

It was tinted dark blue with no cloud to be seen, but to my amazement

there was Saint Nick, with a couple fa la las, and a couple ho ho hos.

He looked at me wide-eyed, with a bottle of Joe…”

–one of my kids

Lots of energy in this household no matter how old my kiddos get. There might be attempts at Christmas poetry, and definitely there’ll be Christmas baking, expressions of Christmas altruism and of course, Christmas shopping.

There is Christmas background music from Spotify, or one of my girls tap tap tapping on the piano: Santa Claus is coming to town… There are petitions for Advent (not sure it’s the Scripture readings or the miniature chocolates they’re after).

Are they excited? Are they preoccupied?

Mwahahaha.

Even the mountains are spreading their precipitous décor. My home appears to be competing for a snow globe ribbon, sheltered in the protective glass ball of the Kootenay mountains.

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Though we are enjoying many Christmas activities and hosting many events, baking nearly every day, skiing right outside our front door and shopping up a different kind of storm, Christmas is changing in our household, just as the kiddos are growing up.

Signs that Christmas is changing:

1. My twelve year old made the reheated Christmas dinner last year, on Christmas day. Official Christmas dinner in our home is on Christmas Eve…leftover prime rib and blue cheese biscuits will be our leftovers this year…when I’m in comfy socks and pjs, not picking up gift wrap and instead wandering from one kid to the next in their reverie, then plopping down with the hubby to read a new book.

2. I didn’t buy one Mattel product last year. I’ve been purchasing Mattel since 2003. That would make almost a dozen years. Bye Bye Barbie. We finally entered the Lego era in 2009. I’m pretty sure I have a few more years to purchase Legos still.

3. The kids have been more excited about giving their gifts than receiving them…creating their own board games or sugar scrubs, or purchasing gifts that family members really would love, like a map of where we’ve travelled or make up products and lip balms.

4.Everyone is moving the Elf, except our youngest kiddo. I do it for the twinkle in these eyes.

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5. Our eldest kiddo wants to skip certain family traditions to accommodate sleepovers. Say what? My family traditions can’t go into perpetuity? I think I can insist on most of my family traditions still because she is not yet sixteen. But heading to the big city to visit a good friend for a week after Christmas, without me…where has her childhood gone? (Cherish those little people moments in your homes–it’s not a myth, they really do grow up).

Christmas changes, but no matter what form it takes, Christmas is meant to be a gift, a God came down grace kinda gift.

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Whatever form your Christmas takes, may it be a blessed one for you!

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of Peace on Earth, Good-Will to men!”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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