Monday, December 26, 2016

Our Christmas Story

'Twas the day after Christmas... and I am exhausted.

This weekend was a whirlwind of fun and merriment, but today I am relishing the quiet. I am inhaling and exhaling and remembering. Last night as the boys were nestled in their beds, we noticed Nora passed out on the couch. The colors on the Christmas tree bounced around the room, and there wasn't a sound in our home. After Jonathan carried her to bed, we sat close on the couch. We were warm and cozy, happy and healthy, and thankful to celebrate another round of holidays with our family. We are tired, but we are blessed.

Christmas Recap: We drove to North Little Rock on Christmas Eve to see the in-laws. We unveiled the Secret Santa mystery and I was actually gifted my beloved chicken socks! We shared a delicious ham dinner and spent the afternoon giggling with word games. We left there and made it to Hope in time for Mass. Owen lasted the whole service {unlike his sister} and joined in singing his favorite Spanish Christmas tune, Feliz Navidad, sending parishioners into the sticky Arkansas air to try to catch a glimpse of Santa.

We didn't see him through the fog, but my kids knew he was there. Nathan estimated the sleigh was crossing Canada as we pulled into our driveway at 9:30 pm. Nora picked out the cookies, Nathan wrote the letter, and Owen already had visions of sugar plums dancing in his head. The kids were ready, and sleep found them fast.

Christmas morning started before dawn. I assume this was the case for many families across the world. Once all three kids were awake and I was coherent enough to operate my phone, we told them to take a peek in the living room.

"He ate the cookies! Is that really what that is?! Oh my goodness, this thing is huge! HE BROUGHT ME MASH 'EMS!"

Every few minutes Owen reminded us this was his favorite day, and Nathan passed out hugs like there was no tomorrow. One of my favorite parts of the morning was how excited each kid was to see their siblings open their presents. Owen told Nora she looked so good in her new house shoes and Nathan was one proud big brother when Owen got to his Nerf gun. Heck, they even liked watching me unwrap makeup. {Thanks, Jonathan!}

After our carpet was hidden by wrapping paper, we moved to the kitchen for Christmas pancakes, then slowly got ourselves together to drive to my parents' house. Many more gifts were opened, another feast was eaten, and the exhaustion I'm still carrying quickly set in. When we filled the back of the car to capacity, it was done. Just like that, Christmas was over.

We arrived home late last night and cleaned up before our kids dozed off as described above. Peace, love, joy, and hope filled the silent night. But it's not just because we have a fantastic family. Christmas isn't really over. It's just getting started. While the kids' faces on Christmas morning are my favorite, we know Christmas is more than a pretty package. We are blessed because of what Christmas means. We are blessed because Christ was born. We are blessed because of the gifts he brought to make this world new again and again. Merry Christmas, y'all.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let Earth receive her King!

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