I absolutely love this time of year. I love how the lights put a soft glow in a cozy living room and how they twinkle in the night. I love wrapping gifts for my loved ones and anxiously waiting to see their faces as they open them. I can sit up for hours wrapping gifts at night. I love baking and making Christmas candies. I love my children's faces each morning during December as they wake up to find the Elf on a Shelf, who they have named "Elfie", and as they look in each of their Advent Calendars to see what the "Christmas Angel" has brought to them for being so sweet and saying their prayers everyday. I love the togetherness with family and friends and how old memories surface into the funniest stories, with each person having a slightly different rendition. I love the smell of all things Christmasy. But most of all I love, and I mean I LOVE, that it is Christ Jesus' birthday. He is absolutely the reason for the season.
As I have tried to emphasize on the importance of this to my children they are growing to love that part of Christmas as much as I do. My daughter, who is 6, has already made the statement numerous times that she wants to bake a birthday cake and sing happy birthday to Jesus on Christmas morning before opening any gifts. And my son will say, "Jesus birfday" (birthday out of a 2 year olds mouth). The very first gift they received in their Advent Calendar was a daily devotional book for December. A Christmas countdown. Each day we read a story leading up to Jesus' birth, a devotional, a scripture and it has a neat craft for each day as well. They love this book! It is such a joy to experience this with my children.
I have been pleased to notice that more people are making a point to say, "Merry Christmas" to each other and to send cards with it written inside them. I have personally only encountered one lady that told me to have a "happy holiday" and I returned the gesture with, "You have a very Merry CHRISTmas as well". When I said this she in turn told me, "Merry Christmas to you, too". I instantly had the feeling that she was saying "happy holiday" to customers out of fear she would offend someone by saying Christmas. I hope that my insistance in saying Christmas will give her the faith and ability to say what her heart wants to. For HE in no means deserves for us to be worried about others feelings in regards to HIM. Those people need to be reminded that HE is the reason for EVERYTHING.
My daughter's class did a fabulous job on their program this morning during their classroom Christmas party. They recited two poems and sang three songs. Afterwards they performed the reindeer hokey pokey and it was precious. They all wore reindeer antlers and had their noses painted red. It was the sweetest thing seeing those small children work so hard with their teacher to show us what they had been working on. Sweet babies! One little girl ran up and hugged my neck. She didn't say one word to me. She just ran over, wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed my cheek before going back to her desk. I do not know what the reasoning was behind the affection, but I hugged her back. Sometimes we all just need a hug. Right?
With all this being said, I want to wish every single one of you a very Merry CHRISTmas and a fabulous new year. I hope to be back and blog before 2010 begins, but I will be enjoying my children and family and may not think of it before then.
May God bless each of you with safe travels, happy hearts, smiling faces, memories, hugs, pictures, full stomachs and the love of HIS birthday surrounding you. You are all special to me and I am blessed by each of your friendships. May you remember that HE had the birthday and we received the gift! Merry CHRISTmas to you all.