A few weeks ago I posted about how I was turning to “Christmas Cheer” instead of my creator for fulfillment.
These song lyrics became my desperate cry:
Haul out the holly;
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again.
Fill up the stocking,
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now.
For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
I’m grateful that I was prompted to write that post.
The idea that there is no amount of holiday cheer that can satisfy me, rescue me from my sin, and mend my broken heart was something that I kept at the forefront of my mind this season.
It really helped me not to hijack the holiday.
To instead enjoy the sweet moments that naturally happened. To let the cards fall as they may and let go of things that previous seemed like “Christmas Musts”. To slow down and be still.
Sure, I still flew around my kitchen like a crazy woman because I wanted to BAKE ALL THE THINGS.
But when the flour and blasted powdered sugar settled, I returned my heart to the One I know can satisfy.
And surprisingly, when I stopped white knuckling Christmas, I ended up having a really lovely Christmas.
These are a few of the things I’d like to remember about Christmas this year…
1. Having Andy home.
2. The smell of our real tree.
3. The “ordinary” moments around my house with my girls (most fittingly captured with selfies)
4. The amazingly thoughtful gift of a DSLR camera from Andy and all the fun I’ve had playing with it.
5. Making and decorating old-fashioned butter cookies with Grace. We shared magical moments together and it happened naturally, without any contriving on my part.
6. Listening to countless hours of christmas carols by the light of the tree.
7. How incredibly happy and grateful Grace was with just her stocking. We sat in our bed with her as she pulled everything out and all of her sweet comments and thank yous melted this mama’s heart. Hearing her tell us how she woke up, saw a tiny little face peeking out of her stocking, and was so surprised to find a new stuffed horse may have been the cutest little story she’s ever relayed.
8. How happy Grace was to open her Snow White dress. You know, before she put it on and threw a fit that it’s too big and itchy. LOL
9. Watching Avery enjoy her first Christmas despite the fact that she was sick. Poor baby.
Well, she mostly enjoyed it :)
10. The joy and celebration I could almost taste at the Christmas Eve church service we attended on the 23rd. The creative arts ministry at our church is incredibly talented and they delighted us with their singing and music.
11. The cozy dinner with an out-of-town friend before the “Christmas Eve Eve” service and the impromptu family gathering & cousin gift swap after the service. So many laughs and cookies were shared among us :)
12. The shocking “little” gift that Andy surprised me with on Christmas morning. I’d already gotten the camera from him, so I wasn’t expecting a single other thing. When he handed me the package, I thought it was a hard cover book. BOY WAS I WRONG! It was an iPad mini.
13. The fact that Grace’s favorite gift on Christmas morning wasn’t the princess dress or accessories…it was the stable of horses. Her love for animals trumps her love for princesses and that warms my heart and honestly relieves me. The whole inside beauty vs outside beauty concept is so hard to relay to a little girl, and horses are just plain beautiful and innocent.
14. Seeing my handsome hubby excited about all his new reading material :)
15. Watching these two become friends :)
16. The taste and smells of our heart-stopping traditional Christmas breakfast. Eggs, bacon, and gravy over biscuits. Washed down with cold mimosas :)
It doesn’t look like much, but I wish you could smell the delicious aroma of the gravy in that cast iron skillet….yum!
18. Spending time with my mom, brother, extended family and gaggle of cousins at my aunt’s annual party.
17. The relaxing and content day after Christmas. We are normally all kind of gloomy and sad the day after Christmas, but this year we hung out, played with our new stuff, snacked on Christmas cookies, napped, ate tasty leftovers for dinner and watched holiday movies. It was the perfect way to end the holiday.
I’m still a little sad that it’s all over, but I’m going to enjoy my tree until about half its needles are on the carpet, I’ve got one last holiday party to attend, my littlest is turning one on New Year’s Eve, and I’m gonna toast to 2014 with my best guy, so that’s not too shabby, right?