Monday, December 27, 2010

Multitude Monday #5: Christmas 2010

This year, we spent Christmas in Brevard, NC, at my parents' "summer home." My mom had decorated everything for Christmas back in October, before they left for the season. Thankfully, their "summer visits" are lasting further into the year. Still, it seems like they're never here long enough.

Friday morning, Dan, Baby Anne, and I exchanged gifts. After having her first birthday party just two weeks before, Anne is starting to get the hang of present-opening. My husband got me some very nice gifts, all of which were humbling to me because I hardly deserve them. His excuse was that he'd done nothing for my 40th birthday ... which, I guess, was true, but I'd honestly forgotten all about it.

The three of us made the drive to Brevard Friday afternoon. We went straight to my sister's house, where we had an early dinner of soup and sandwiches. Next, we went to my sister's church, where they had a Christmas Eve service specially geared to children. Kids got to choose beforehand whether they wanted to be angels, shepherds, or wisemen. Angels got sparkly halos, shepherds got ... well, shepherd headgear (what do you call it?), and wisemen got gold paper crowns.

Anne's two-year-old cousin, Ella, wanted to be a shepherd (she'd gone through phases earlier in the week of wanting to be a wiseman, then an angel), so Anne and Ella both got shepherd headgear.

For the service, they first talked about the angels, and all the "angel children" went up to the front, and we sang "angel" songs, like "Angels We Have Heard on High." Next was the "shepherd children," and "The First Noel. Then the "wisemen children" and "We Three Kings." Finally, the Holy Family--a couple with a newborn baby--came up to the front and everyone sang "What Child Is This." It was really a lovely service. I spent most of it in the front with my "shepherd baby," who spent most of her time wandering around, grinning and making friends with the other shepherd children.

It was very sweet. I've been working so much that I've had trouble having any "Christmas spirit" whatsoever, and it was nice to actually feel the solemnity and joy of the season at that service.

We stayed at my parents' house that night, and the snow started at around 9:00 Christmas morning. Long story short: My sister, her husband, and little Ella weren't able to come because of the snow. My brother and his friend Garrett managed to make it, but it the roads were pretty treacherous. We had a wonderful time eating, exchanging gifts, laughing, and just enjoying being with family. I was sad that my sister wasn't there, but I guess it was better than having them get stuck, or in an accident, with the poor driving conditions.

We stayed at my parents' house last night and headed home today, stopping first at my sister's. We had some snow on the drive home, and the roads got a little scary around Asheville, but we made it home safely, just after dark. All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas, and it left me feeling very thankful for how richly I've been blessed in this life.

Here are some things I'm thankful for today:

51. Little baby bellies peeking out from beneath pajama tops

52. Towers taller than her

53. Pretty Christmas dresses

54. Bright paper packages tied up with string ...

55. Grandmas reading to grandbabies

56. Nursery rhymes

57. The old Santa Claus that belonged to my mom as a child

58. How sometimes she looks so much like her daddy's late father

59. Snow on evergreens

60. Laughing with my mom

61. Gratitude jars

62. That bug-eyed telephone we all had as kids--it's still around!

63. Twin snow angels

64. Seeing my brother and my mom having fun together

65. Being safe and warm at home after a long, snowy drive

66. A glass of red wine and a snuggle with the husband after the baby has gone to sleep

67. Long talks with my mom

68. My daughter remembered both her grandparents this time--holding her arms out to my mom and grinning widely at my dad when she saw them.

69. Two little "shepherd cousins," wearing Christmas dresses and shepherd headgear

70. Baby wipes ... you're never really thankful for them until you need them and don't have them!

71. A white Christmas

72. Coming home

holy experience


Dorie said...

The Christmas Eve service with the children sounds just precious!

eArThworm said...

Thank goodness the address of your blog was in your Christmas letter. I had been having serious withdrawal problems when the previous one disappeared. You can write about Miss Anne, depression, lack of time and sleep, whatever.... and I just eat it up because I love your writing. And I love you, too, you know. And I wish I could be up there to love Miss Anne. So hug her extra for me.

Annesta said...

May the spirit of Christmas remain close to your heart each and every day of this new year and may your live out Christ love in your world so others will come to love Him like you do.

The dB family said...

What a beautiful list! Sometimes I wonder why Christmas has to be in the winter in our part of the hemisphere. Driving can be so risky. I'm thankful you made it home safe and sound. Wishing you much Christmas joy and peace!

Be blessed!

Rene said...

I love this post! And I love little Anne's belly poking through her pajama top. :) I'm glad you had a good Christmas with your family and made it home safely.

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