Friday, December 27, 2013

The Spirit of Christmas

Christmas was surprising this year. I entered into it a bit confused but left with all those warm memories you hope for and cherish. Of course, I missed James the entire time but that is to be expected and I have grown quite used to that longing in my heart. It is familiar and achy but also allows me to take note of what is going on around me in great detail. When the feeling comes I think to myself not in a sad way but inquisitively, why do I wish he was here now? What about this moment do I wish to share with him?

At one moment I looked around and saw my family gathered, smiling, enjoying treats and gifts by the glow of the Christmas tree. It was Christmas Eve and this year we had a fancy Christmas Eve meal followed by opening of one present (more for those who wouldn't be there the next day) and then talking, playing games, and reading Luke chapter two (I read). I felt so much love and peace in that moment and I imagined for a moment he was nestled in my lap, sleeping heavy in my arms as I balanced the scriptures on my knees. Perhaps he was there, as I have said before I like to imagine he is.

Beyond missing James, Christmas was just joyful and spirited because of a very funny two-year old. We hadn't visited Santa at the mall or anything but because of a generous gift of twelve Christmas books for the twelve days of Christmas, we were able to really introduce Santa this year (we also watched the Polar Express about 5 times for our train aficionado). He was pretty delighted with his stocking and when I told him that Santa would bring him a candy cane for Christmas, he seemed pretty excited. Then a friend from Kyle's parent's ward (like a congregation) stopped by dressed as Santa, gave Max a candy cane and joyfully repeated, "Merry Christmas!" The deal was sealed. Max would repeat, "Santa Merry Christmas BIG candy cane!"

So Christmas Eve we set out carrots and oatmeal for the reindeer and treats and eggnog for Santa and we dressed Max in some cute pajamas and for once I just let myself enjoy what a treat Christmas can be.

Also, I received this beautiful bracelet which I had thought of back in August and was so grateful to receive as my Christmas Eve gift. It made my Christmas (Thank you Mom!)

Outside says "James" and the inside says, "i carry your heart with me, (i carry it in my heart)"

How grateful I am for the love and generosity that surrounds me. So many people contributed to make this a wonderful Christmas and it will never cease to amaze me that I am encircled by true, lifelong friends and family that loves and cares for me. 

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