Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas in a Nutshell

Our first journey was to Abilene, on the Saturday before Christmas. The drive was fun...Scott and I rocked out to a new Kirk Franklin CD. I love his music!!! The kids loved it too...and now request it every time we get in the van. On Saturday afternoon and evening we just spent time together relaxing at my dad's. We sort of watched the Cowboy's narrowly win via espn online, while I wrapped last minute gifts, made cards at the kitchen table, and rolled Emma's hair. The next morning, we attended church with my dad and stepmom. The service was a Christmas communion, and quite beautiful. This is a sweet, small, southern baptist church with a nice mixture of old and young. Sharing a hymnal with my daddy, and holding his hand during prayers brought back sweet memories. After church, we rushed home to finish cooking for the big meal (ham, creamed potatoes, green bean casserole, fruit salad, rolls, desserts...mmmm). My brother and his ex-wife and daughter arrived before dinner, and shared in the fun. The kids sat in the living room and the grownups at the big table...just like when I was a kid. Afterwards, the onslaught of gifts; paper was flying everywhere and squeals of excitement were heard for a good 5 minutes from the kids. :-) Emma got a princess cell phone, Ian got a superhero and Sam got a transformer; they all got board games. Scott and I got money. We are grateful. We all watched Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney in White Christmas that romantic, so classic. The next morning, my sweet Daddy made his famous pancakes for breakfast-a fantastic send off for us.

Christmas Eve was a fast and furious blur. We baked Christmas Cookies, opened our Christmas PJs, read the Christmas story and The Night Before Christmas, sang songs, ate a hearty dinner, and just generally enjoyed each other's company. I love my family so deeply. Scott and I woke at 4am to assemble Santa's goodies. Sam got a pogo stick and a guitar, Ian got an art desk and a pirate ship, and Emma got goodies for her bitty baby, and a dolly house. Scott got a camcorder and I got a flat screen monitor and a Beth Moore devotional. The kids slept in until 8:30 on Christmas morning! Gotta love that!

After we let the babies play with their toys (including daddy), we loaded up and headed to my mom's. That was truly a bit unusual as well. Tensions were high, spirits were low, but we were glad to be together. My mom made an amazing meal...she's one of the best cooks I know. The type who doesn't cook from recipes, but can whip up a feast with a potato and a can of soup. Growing up, there were many times money was so tight you didn't know when you'd be able to buy groceries again. My mom was infamous for feeding us well on a penny budget. She's also a very personal, creative gift giver. Apart from the kids getting fun things to play with, she got Scott a Lowe's gift card, and then blessed us with many accessories for our bedroom. She knew I wanted to redecorate my room this year, and she loaded me up! My brother-in-law, who last year gave us a membership to the Dallas Arboretum, this year gave us a membership to the Dallas Museum of Art. Fun!

If my intentions and hearts desire were enough to make it happen, our Christmas would have been much more intentional about giving, serving, loving Jesus, loving others. We did give, and serve, and love, but I wanted it to be more. Beth Moore wrote an incredible post on her blog about "do-overs." It was a New Year's post, reveling in the fact that God knew we would need to have fresh starts, so our calendar has LOTS of opportunities for that. Every new year, new month, new week, new day, new holiday. I am grateful and so thankful...and awed that He loves me enough to wait, and encourage, and believe. Bless You Lord.

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1 comment:

Amanda said...

Elizabeth, you are so wonderful. I really enjoyed reading about your Christmas. I loved reading about the holding of your Daddy's hand and the quote about your mother, that she "can whip up a feast with a potato and a can of soup." So funny. I hope those are the things my kids remember about me -- love, sacrifice, resourcefulness.

You are an extraordinary writer. Thank you for sharing your holiday...