This was, by far, my favorite Christmas season EVER!
Absolutely nothing sensational happened, there were no ridiculously magical moments, but there was something different about this season for me and it made everything remarkable.
This year. This simple, candid year had an undercurrent that I have sensed before but this year it was unleashed full force and I was overjoyed to revel in it.
What was it? Why did this unadorned, sincere celebration take on a life of its own for me?
Because this year, ALL of my babies got it. And not only did they get it, but they burrowed down into it and let it seep into every corner of Christmas and touch all the parts of our holiday.
And it was amazing.
|New pajamas for Christmas Eve -- a favorite tradition.|
This year, my kids were lazer-focused on what they could do for others and how they could invite the true spirit of Christmas into our life. Sure, they wrote letters to Santa, but there was no recurring list of "remember I wants." Instead, our kiddos looked past themselves and aimed their hearts at the truth behind this season.
It showed up in many ways -- most of them pretty simple. What can I do to help my friends know I appreciate them? Did we remember to take a neighbor gift to this family? Can we sing Christmas carols together as a family? I heard my sister say she hoped for this for Christmas and I thought you might want to know. Grandma, can I help you do an activity with the younger cousins to keep them entertained? Mom, do you need help wrapping presents? I bought this cool thing, will you ask Santa to put it in my little brothers' stockings? Can we please read more Christmas stories tonight, they make me feel so good? And on and on and on.
Focusing on others, and forgetting yourself, that became a recurring theme for the month. I watched as my little ones saved their small allowances so they could purchase a gift for each of their siblings. Now, we draw names and give each child a budget to buy something for one of their brothers or sisters, but that was not good enough this year.
This year, each child -- on his or her own -- decided to give to ALL of the siblings, not just one.
|Christmas morning with my peeps.|
Some of our older people used money they had saved for personal desires to instead purchase thoughtful presents for others. Ellie made personal paper crafts for every member of the family. Logan slyly tried to get siblings to talk about favorite things so he could choose gifts wisely.
All of the children were nearly bursting on Christmas morning NOT to open gifts for themselves, but to watch as other people opened the gifts they had purchased. It was a morning full of kindness and love and awe. I adore my little family. What a gift it was for me to see the people they are choosing to become.
I'll be honest, that is not always the way things go around here. But it was the way much of December went and I could not get enough.
I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am thankful for His life and His example for me.
And I'm thankful to have seen His spirit alive in the lives of my children.
I hope I get to watch that (and maybe live it a bit better myself) in many holidays to come.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.
Enjoy a tiny glimpse into our Christmas Season.
|Living room Sugar Plum Shenanigans|
|Christmas concerts aplenty with Miss Margene|
|Gavin is festive even in his sleep|
|One handsome man and his two lovely daughters|
|Santa footprints -- goodness gracious, wipe your feet!|
|Christmas blow-up Battle|