*Watching the impromptu dance party that happened in our living room when the Charlie Brown song came on the radio.
*Seeing Andrew and Coleman enjoy the Christmas specials we enjoyed as children. Charlie Brown was the definite favorite, with The Grinch a close second.
*Watching the boys make their shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse. They chose so carefully for the little boys in Haiti.
*All the matching/coordinating outfits Gigi made for the boys.
*The excitement of finding Clarence the elf each morning.
*Seeing Jonathan wear some of Andrew's Christmas outfits from Andrew's first Christmas.
*Every afternoon after naptime, we turned on the radio station and listened to Christmas music until Brent got home for supper. It made the house so peaceful (at times) and seemed so Christmasy.
*The excitement of breaking our chain links each day, and ending our day together reading our devotion from our Jesse Tree.
*Our family outings, including the one to Bass Pro Shops, which didn't get its own post this year. Here's a scary shot from that day. Three yahoos with guns. Yikes!
*Seeing this sweet face. Even though he didn't have a clue what we were doing, he hung in there like a big boy and was happy almost all the time.
*Our White Christmas!
*Reliving our old "Christmas miracle" stories. Next year I'm going to do a post on all the December miracles that have seemed to come our way over the years.
*The story of tracking down Meredith's gifts from Cath Kidston in London, and how they made it here on Christmas Eve.
*Adding to our collection of handmade gifts from Andrew and Coleman.
*Coleman's precious nativity scene he made at school. The day he brought it home, he and I were butting heads about some forgetable something. His teacher had wrapped the gift, and I unwrapped it while he stood beside me. Both of us were stewing and I was trying to decide how to deal with the situation, whatever it was. I opened the picture and almost cried. Instead of a spanking, Coleman got a big hug and a big dose of grace and mercy. I am going to frame this and keep it out all year.
*Having Uncle Hugh spend Christmas with us.
*Special visits from Aunt Mer Mer and Uncle Roger.
*Seeing Brent and the boys play Star Wars. In which Brent wears the clone trooper helmet Santa brought to Coleman and uses a British accent to play the part of Captain Rex. And how Andrew and Coleman eat. it. up. Andrew talks back to Brent in a deepened voice, and Coleman keeps asking, "Daddy is that really you?" And how I am Queen Mommy-dala. A clever play on Queen Amidala.
*How on the 23rd, a bloggy friend wrote that she was letting go of things that were not absolutely necessary for Christmas to come, so that she could enjoy her family and not be so exhausted. That post helped me not fret over the sock pile in the bedroom, or feel like I had to iron Brent's shirts for the next week, or finish several other tasks that would have been meaningless. Thank you Small Notebook!
*How our dear friend Jessica came for a quick visit while returning Mer Mer one evening. The house was a wreck and louder than a freight train. We were telling her goodbye, and I apologized for the craziness. She said it was not crazy, but that our house was always warm, welcoming, and full of love. It was probably my favorite thing anyone said to me all Christmas, and I pray it will always be true.