Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Christmas Eve

 Our Christmas Eve turned out very differently than we had originally planned.  The plan was to spend the day at Gigi and Papack's with everyone there, and then on Christmas Day, they would spend the day at our house.  However.  I mentioned in an earlier post that Coleman had The Virus on the night of the 14th.  Well, as soon as he was done with sickness, I bleached everything that wasn't breathing in the house.  No one else was sick, and so I thought we had escaped fairly well.  Until the 22nd.  Andrew was sick with it the night after Archer Christmas.  (Yes you counted right.  Eight days later!)  So we missed church on the 23rd and I again bleached every non-living item in the house.  It seemed like we were in the clear, until the morning of the 24th when he was sick again.  So we changed our plans for Christmas.  (No one else was sick from it, and Andrew was fine by lunch that day, so Christmas was not ruined, thank goodness!)

We spent our rainy Christmas Eve at home together.  Coleman and Jonathan helped make and ice some cookies for Santa that morning.

There was time for Lego building.

Andrew had fully recovered by mid-morning and he got in on the Legomania.  Brent was in the process of smoking our Christmas ham (ohmyword was it good!) and he came in and built too.

 The boys stayed in their pajamas until after rest time.  Here's Jonathan with our fun lunch.

Andrew and Coleman got to play a Christmas bingo game we hadn't had time for.

I had finished wrapping all the gifts the day before and stacked them under the dining room tables.  Somebody was quite pleased to find them all!

At lunchtime, when we realized Andrew was just fine, we made plans for that night.  Taking a page from Uncle Roger's Christmas Eve tradition, we headed to Krystal for dinner.

 Then we drove around and looked at Christmas lights in our sweet little town.  We got home in time for baths, opening Christmas pajamas, and setting out goodies for Santa and the reindeer.

Andrew wanted to leave a thank you note for Santa this year.

While the day was not at all what I had originally thought it would be, I must say it was nearly perfect.  Despite my best intentions, December had gotten away from me.  I tried to keep our calendar clear and quiet, and I'm still not sure what happened.  It seemed like we were constantly running here and there, I could not get on top of my to-do list, there were many nights we had to skip our family devotion so the boys could be in bed at a decent hour.  I remember thinking, repeatedly, that this was not at ALL what I had planned.  I was longing for a quiet season to think about Jesus coming to earth for us.  And this December was anything but quiet.

Maybe it's the age we are in our family.  Maybe it's because too many days I didn't get up early to pray and spend time in the Word.  Maybe I tried too hard to control too much.  I don't know.  But I do know that after I got over my disappointment about not spending Christmas Eve the way I had planned, I realized that His plan was so much better.  (With the possible exception of the throwing up.)

We were able to spend a quiet, peace-filled day together in our own home.  Everything was finished for the holiday.  The gifts were all bought and wrapped.  The errands were (finally!) all finished.  There were no more crafts to be done or plans to be made.  We could just enjoy the day together.

I opened one of the spice bags we give to friends and teachers and let it simmer on our stove, making the house smell like Christmas.  We made the cookies we hadn't had time to make earlier.  I calmly got the cooking done for the next day, instead of having to do it late at night after being gone all day long.  We played games and did Lego sets together.  I know that White Christmas was on during the day, and so was Christmas music.  We finished our advent devotional that night, catching up on the few days we had fallen behind.

While we were out driving around, looking at lights, a Christmas song came on that gave me the reflection time I had so desperately needed.  I don't now recall which particular song it was, but I think it must have been the one that talks about Jesus' birth with the words "It's still a mystery to me, how the  hands of God could be so small"  (Here With Us by Joy Williams).  As we turned onto Mt. Vernon Road, I was overwhelmed at the truth of those words.

What a mystery that HE would come here.  That His hands were as small as I remember our boys' hands being when I first held them.  Then I thought about how when Mary and Joseph held Him for the first time, they must have felt much the same as Brent and I did when holding Andrew for the first time.  They were first time parents, just like we were.  They didn't know much, if any, about little tiny people.  How to stop the crying, how to get him to sleep, how to take care of all his needs, how to love him enough.

Except, boy were there differences!  Their son was the Savior of the world.  Surely they kissed his face just like we did our boys, but my word, like the song says, they were kissing the face of God.  What was that like?  I think my mind would have exploded trying to comprehend that this baby I was holding was the long awaited Messiah who would redeem us all.

Of course, all these thoughts, combined with happy holiday feelings and just plain tired made me cry.  So I sat there in my seat with tears running down my cheeks, so very thankful for so very much.  And that night, I was most thankful for an unexpected, unplanned, perfect day.

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