This was probably one of the most relaxing Christmases I’ve had in the past few years. In times past it seemed like there were more things to get done than time to fit it all in. But this year we kept on the move some, but then had some time to sit back and just enjoy the days as well.
Friday we went to Amory to spend the day at my mom’s. We exchanged gifts with her, hung out for a while, and then went to my grandmother’s house to eat supper with all the uncles/aunts/cousins and then open a few presents there. It’s always a lively bunch. And a crazy bunch.
We left late that night, found a gas station still open after 10pm on Christmas Eve, and drove home. The kids went right to bed and Bev and I got everything set up for the next morning by the tree. The kids were not expecting Santa Clause to come. They’ve never been big Santa kids, but they still look forward to Christmas morning to get presents.
The next morning I woke up at 7:55 a.m. On Christmas morning. And I woke up on my own. No kids waking me up. I was amazed. They were all still asleep! But with in three minutes Addie comes running in telling me it’d snowed! And indeed it had. Supposedly the first snow in Oxford on Christmas day since 1913. Oh, and my mother in law hadn’t showed up yet! Now, I don’t mind her coming over on Christmas…quite the contrary. But last year she called a six-something in the morning asking if we were awake yet. I said, “nope”. I thought she was about to leave Tupelo to head our direction. Turns out she was about to turn into our neighborhood!
Anyhow, she came over for a late breakfast and stayed til early afternoon. Then my dad and step-mom came by later that day too. So the day was filled with more family and a few more presents and lots of candy being eaten. The kids had a blast, and we only had about two real times where they were about to fight over toys! It seems that six year old girls and two year old boys can be quite opinionated and possessive at times.
I know in times past I’ve bemoaned that Christmas time doesn’t seem like the same feeling I used to have. But maybe I’ve gotten past that. Or maybe I’ve gotten more involved with my kids at Christmas instead of the “cultural” feeling of Christmas. Or maybe I’ve realized ….I don’t know. Maybe it’s that it is what you make it, and now that I’m a big boy it’s up to me to put more effort into it. And I still don’t want to let myself or our kids fall into an idea of Christmas being about gifts and decorations and candy/food and everything.
I don’t think we do, necessarily. And you can ask our kids what Christmas is about and they’ll tell you straight up. Rowan even went around singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jesus for a few days. But when I look back over the last week and month, I realize that we, as a family, didn’t spend enough time discussing, praying about, and looking towards Christmas and the coming of the Christ Child.
Next year, that will change.
Two of my favorite memories from Christmas: one was when the kids ran from their room to see their gifts out by the tree (we left most unwrapped (we’re strange like that )) they were really excited. But as they sat side by side infront of their gifts, Addie, our oldest, kept talking to her brother and sister about all the cool things they got. She was so excited for them. It was awesome. Then she moved on to take a closer look at her gifts as well. But seeing her excitement and encouragement for her sister and brother was heart warming.
And another was how I punked my mother in law on Christmas morning. I’ll post about it next!