Well, we finally got the tree up Friday night....we would have preferred sitting down with our latest Netflix movie, but reluctantly Gentz dragged the tree out of the attic while I cleaned up the kitchen. I figured he was just going to set up the tree and we would decorate later, but he brought down the ornaments too, so slowly, I started looking through them...no hooks of course! What happens to those danged hooks from one season to the next? Kind of like the lights..they work when you are putting them away, but get them out and forget about it! Slowly, we got it done and Gentz put the angel on top that we have had for over 20 years..she is looking a little worse for wear...her beaded halo is hanging down in her face and for some reason she is blinking this year, but it makes us laugh, so we are letting her blink away!!
I was thinking of the kids and what a bad mom I am that I don't have all their little handmade or bought ornaments through the years and what is wrong with me anyway??!! Then I got out our ancient Manger scene and as I was unwrapping tenderly Mary, Joseph, a cow, a wise man, baby Jesus, Silent Night started playing on Pandora Radio....here is the magic of Christmas, I thought. God loved us, so He sent His Son...Hark the Herald Angels Sing..Glory to the Newborn King...Silent Night, holy night. That it was and it still is. Whether I am excited about decorating the tree or not, whether I saved the kids' ornaments or not, whether our angel is blinking or not, Christmas is about love. The greatest gift there is.
As I thought about that, I thought of how my heart and mind is filled with Christmases past when the living room was full of excitement from the kids as we decorated the tree. Then, we would sit down with cups of hot chocolate and just look at the lights. Where did those years go? Straight into my heart, that is where. Love...Christmas is about love. Life changes, children grow up, grandchildren enter your life and your heart, things happen....good things, bad things, tough things, but still there is love..the greatest gift.
I did or my daughter did find some really good buys for me...great wool jacket for $50 and 100% Merino wool sweater for $20, so much for Christmas shopping..it was all for me...meanwhile my stomach is bumbling and grumbling and I'm pretty sure I better get home asap. Arrived home at 3 and didin't move again until this morning and I only moved to go to the bathroom...but I think this will be short lived....feeling ready for breakfast and that is a good sign.
So, today I slow down....I won't do much...I'll read, I'll write, I'll contemplate the beauty of this season as I listen to my Christmas music on my laptop and what I want to celebrate about it. I don't want to have loooong to do lists...I want to be able to celebrate family, the great love our Father in Heaven had for us, sending us His son to heal us, walk with us, live for us and die for us.
My darling daughter in law who lives two hours away called me last night and would love to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at their house instead of stressing over staying at two sets of grandparents' homes and dragging all the presents over here. They have a lovely little home, three darling children, and I don't blame her one bit....as I think about it..how nice for us, to just have a quiet, spiritual Christmas morning, thinking of the many gifts I have that aren't necessarily under a tree. The afternoon will see all the presents being opened and food eaten...Christmas day goes way too fast anyway...I'm all for dragging it out. I'll never forget my little daughter so many years ago looking up at me in the bathroom and saying: "Christmas is ovah"! It goes so fast....I want to slow down and enjoy the music, the excited looks on my grandchildrens' faces as they decorate the tree, wrapping presents, and the lights, ahhh the lights everywhere....so, if it took the stomach flu to slow me down and have me think about these things and even FINALLY write another post on my blog, so be it. How do YOU slow down and enjoy the Christmas season? I'd love to hear your comments.