January 6, 2009

a very monkey christmas.

Andrew and I were so excited for Christmas this year. We both come from families who love Christmas and have long-standing Christmas traditions. This was the first Christmas since Andrew and I have been together that we didn't travel to his parents house for the holidays, and with my dad being sick, our plans to involve my parents in our Christmas this year didn't work out.

Since I was pregnant with Bennet, we've known that we want
ed to spend Christmas in our home with our children and allow them to have the same wonderful memories of holidays in our house that we both have of holidays in our childhood homes. In spite of that desire, we both felt a little lonely in the days leading up to Christmas. We wouldn't be seeing Andrew's family, and my parents were not really feeling up to celebrating Christmas. We wondered if we'd made a wrong decision this year by staying home.

Somewhere in the midst of all of those sad thoughts, we s
tarted to make plans to celebrate Christmas together as a family, no matter what. My dad had always loved Christmas so much, we knew he would want us to celebrate Bennet's first Christmas together and be happy and have a great time. God gave us the strength we needed to do just that. We had a fantastic Christmas, in spite of all of the hard times we were about to experience in the days that followed. I feel so blessed that we had those days of extreme happiness before we endured the sadness of my father's death.

Our little family of three (four counting Sophie) went from fa
cing a sad, lonely Christmas, to starting lasting traditions that will be a part of our holiday celebrations for years to come. People do not often get the opportunity to really embrace the peace and healing of Christ in the season of his birth - we did. In spite of everything we have gone through this season, I will remember this Christmas and feel happy and peaceful in my heart because I have truly experienced the comforting presence of the Lord in a way I never had before. His grace is sufficient for us, and He has proved this yet again by giving our family a wonderful Christmas in the midst of such great sadness.

It is exciting to know that when people ask us what traditions our family has for Christmas, we will be able to answer not with our childhood traditions, but with the things our family does over the holidays. It's strange to be adults (parents no less) with our own home and family and traditions. Sometimes I still feel like I am a teenager living at home with Mom and Dad. Where does time go? How did we grow up so much?

Time moves much faster than I'd like it to sometimes. I'm sure next Christmas will be here before we know it. When the next Holiday season rolls around and people ask us, "What does your family do to celebrate Christmas?" I know what I'll say.

We cook a big dinner to share with good friends on Ch
ristmas Eve.

We open stockings on Christmas Eve.

We leave cookies out for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer.

We read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" at bedtime.

We wake up on Christmas morning and open presents and cook breakfast.

We spend the day at my Grandma's with my family.

Finding God's peace in the simplicity of celebrating as a family was one of the greatest gifts I received this Christmas. Yes, our Holidays ended on a sad note, but all-in-all, I know that we are blessed beyond measure. We are very much looking forward to continuing to grow as a family in 2009. Happy New Year, friends!


The Coys said...

What a lovely post. You have had so much sorrow lately and I hope 2009 brings healing and peace to you and your family.

(BTW who knew I was so blonde? Is that just the camera?!)

- Sarah :-) said...

I'm gald you were able to enjoy the holidays so much. And I hope the next year is even better for you and Bennet gets older and you all begin even more family traditions together.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...