So I didn’t quite make all my Advent Photo of the Day photos into blog posts and the truth is that the later we got in Advent the harder it was. Cause, you know, I’m busy…
Anyway, my last photo on Christmas Day was “light” and here it is.
“A Star, A Star, Dancing in the Night”
It is, of course, a Chinese Checkers board, in the middle of the game (which was actually the end of the game because we realized that it was 10pm on Christmas day and 4 children under the age of 8 needed to go to bed, along with their parents…)
Anyway, here’s what happened.
Christmas Day is a wonderful day, but for me, it is a day of celebrating a secular holiday. Christmas Eve is about Jesus, Christmas Day- presents, food, and family. There is nothing wrong with this, secular customs are important too.
I have not lived near extended family in over 10 years. Occasionally some family members come to visit for the holiday but mostly it is my family of 4. This has great benefits as we get to do things “our way” aka, however we want. This year we got up, opened presents, ate, the kids played, my husband read, and I went back to bed! In early afternoon the kids were still playing I got up and my husband took a nap. It was marvelous!
However, it was coming close to time to cook Christmas Dinner. No surprise, but I LOVE cooking big meals! But it feels empty to cook a big meal for the four of us. The Christmas meal is a holiday meal to be covered in chaos and fun and laughter. My small family has spent many a holiday meal with just the four of us, and every year it is hard for me.
So my husband and I decided we would not cook the meal, which made things even worse.
Then, I was texting with my friend Bob and as we were exchanging “Merry Christmas” greetings and other pleasantries he asked what I was doing and I explained about the meal. Then as a joke, I asked what time we should be over for dinner (joking like this is not unusual for us). They had already eaten their family meal, with a lot of extended family of course, but after a few exchanges an invitation came to come over to their house.
I called. They had to be exhausted, they had a lot of family around all day and I was not convinced that this is actually what they wanted to do, but an invite out of pity. I was joking I explained, but no, they are my family and insisted, and of course, I wanted to go.
We brought our side dishes, they reheated some ham, and we drove the 1.25 miles to their house. I was in my pajamas (as I refuse to leave them on Christmas Day) and so was my son. My husband and daughter needed to look presentable (yes, read exactly what you need to into the personalities from that statement). We talked, we ate, we had a dance competition, and we played Chinese Checkers. I was so happy I almost cried in joy. (several of our children did cry from exhaustion…)
But back to the picture.
The board itself if a star, and it could not be a better representation for the light that shone in the darkness for me that day. I had a wonderful morning with my family, a relaxing afternoon, and a party with my “extended family” in the evening. It was the best Christmas of my life. Bob, Dawn, Reese, Carter, Will, Maggie, and Gus. Thank you. I love you.
I am grateful, I am overwhelmed, I am elated, I am blessed.