Monday, December 22, 2008

...across the room to wish you a Merry Christmas....

I LOVE Christmas! I have ALWAYS loved Christmas! As I was growing up our home was filled with the aroma of fresh baked cookies and Christmas cake during the days leading up to Christmas. Mom loved to decorate the house and tree and often bought new decorations to add to her collection. There were shopping trips to Winnipeg and often Calgary for my parents and when they returned home there were strict rules about which closets we needed to stay clear of! My parents loved lavishing gifts on us at Christmas time. We did not generally receive gifts the rest of the year....I don't ever remember getting a birthday present from my parents until after I was married. It just wasn't done at our house. I think it made Christmas all the more exciting for us as kids. One of the first events I "noticed" my husband at was a Christmas Eve caroling party. I made sure I got to go in his car and eventually got to sit in front with him, in the MIDDLE (something I fought the friend I was with for!!... and won!!). Some years later, in 1970 to be exact, we were engaged on Christmas Eve! We have always made Christmas Eve our day of celebration. Most years we would attend the Service at church, come home to a dinner I had spent most of the day cooking and after dinner we would open our gifts. It has always been our special day. I don't ever remember Christmas being anything but happy and exciting! The first year I remember a change in our celebrations was when my little nephew passed away a month before Christmas. Next was the year my Mom passed away, again in November. Christmas changed quite drastically that year as we muddled our way through the family get together. This year again, in November, my sister passed away. It has changed my preparations somewhat again. There has been no panic to get anything done. I gave myself permission to do what I could or wanted to do and not stress about any of the preparations. I decided if I didn't get gifts bought, I could always give cash as a gift! My husband mused this week about the house looking perfectly decorated without all the usual fuss! I took that as a compliment! This month I have experienced some exciting fun filled days of shopping, and lunching with friends. I've also had days where I got nothing done because I felt the sadness coming back to visit me. It settles in like a rain cloud, stays for awhile and then empties out along with my tears to let the sunshine in again so I can get back to my holiday preparations.
My special memory of this Christmas will undoubtedly be that the JOY of that very first Christmas permeates my very being and no matter what happens all around me, to me, and in me, that JOY is there to stay. It is God's gift to me. It is God's gift to you if you care to receive it. The JOY is God's Son Jesus whose birth we are celebrating. He came to visit me many years ago. I invited Him in and when He comes in to your life He comes to stay permanently! He is my forever JOY!
May your Christmas be filled with His forever Joy as you celebrate God's indescribable Gift!


Jobina said...

Christmas Eve was always so much fun that I never really understood all the fuss about Christmas morning that people have! Thanks for the picture, I got all nostalgic in about 2 seconds after seeing it. See you in a few days!!!

Michele said...

I used to love celebrating on Christmas Eve - I always felt like I had one up on everyone else because I got to open my presents 12 hours before they did!

I have also really felt the JOY God has so richly provided us this Christmas. I don't think I could be sad even if I wanted to! This year God has really proven to me that His name is Jehovah Jireh. He provides for our every need! Not always in the ways we expect but always in the way we need.

I can't WAIT to see you tomorrow! And I can't WAIT to see Jobina and Mark and the kids in a few days! I love our little family and I'm so thankful that God in His wisdom saw fit to put us all together.

Until tomorrow!!!!!

Elayne said...

I just looked at a close up of that picture and see Declan and Rowan's hand prints ALL OVER the place. I THOUGHT it was clean!!
I may just leave them there because its not going to get any cleaner once they get here! Ha!
I wish I would have loved little hand and finger prints that much when I was a mommy!!

Elayne said...

I'm talking about the piano. I've noticed recently that I have this running commentary going on in my head when I type and only some of it reaches my fingertips to actually get to my readers. You have to know how to read between the lines when you read my writings!!

Michele said...

Ha! I knew what you meant. I take the blame for some of those fingerprints. I can't help but touch that beautiful piano! I had a blast with you yesterday! I can't wait to see you again next week! Now, I'm off to heat up left over waffles for the kids. See you in a few days!

Elayne said...

We had a great time too! I think my favourite moment would have to be Rowan taking her first steps in her princess outfit complete with high heels and then later seeing her run in those heels!! Those legs are made for doubt about it!! Ha!
It was pretty interesting to hear those baby sounds simultaneously from the two new dolls but she's "mommy" enough to look after both! Ha!
Dad was still talking about the tobogganing with Declan. He was telling me what a sweet pleasant little guy and what a great sense of humor he has. I agree! Now let's get those Westman's out here so we can enjoy all this together!