|Showing off the hand-sewn gifts David gave.|
I wasn't sure how it would work - getting in the right frame of mind, having all the gifts wrapped, really believing it was a true and proper celebration. I worked yesterday morning, and I had a rough time turning off the switch midday to focus on my family and our time together.
|Sarah & Mom|
And as the evening rolled on, when everyone returned from last minute shopping, I sat at the piano. First song up was the Linus and Lucy dance from A Charlie Brown Christmas...and they all came running.
|Sarah & Dad|
And then we moved on to the carols, singing from an old copy of a Baptist Hymnal snagged from Fellowship Bible Church many years ago. The harmonies rang; we sang with our eyes closed and our ears attuned to one another.
And suddenly it was Christmas Eve, just like that.
We woke up to stockings filled with fun stuff - from head scratchers to chip clips, with candy and books and earbuds and all sorts of other stuff in between.
|Daniel's GREAT gift from Shannon...found in|
the basement of her CRU house!
My mom and dad come, and they deliver their gifts, and the kids give to them - my dad always gets some form of candy turtles, and my mom always gets some sort of body wash.
|This year's cardboard box|
Catch the theme?
We've come to expect the big cardboard box, and no one - including me - ever knows what we'll find inside.
This year was funny; they quickly determined that it containted vast quantities of Oreos and Ramen noodles (chicken flavored) - and nothing else. And then Sydni pulled out a small, wrapped gift. She opened it to find a Dick's Gift Card, and everybody went nuts looking for more gift cards. Tony shook his head and said he didn't know where it came from...but no one believed him.
It was true. There was one wrapped gift in the box - the Dick's Gift Card - and nothing else. Turns out the card has $42.67 credit on it. And no one knows where it came from.
Makes an interesting, weird gift even more so.
It was a good day. Our family, together, is what matters.
As we planned for this holiday season, I felt good about them leaving and having some extended time with their dad. It's Florida, which will be fun and relaxing. It's a good break for them, a good time for making memories and spending time together.
And yet...if I'm honest, I'll tell you that I don't feel so good about it now. I'm going to miss them. The real Christmas Eve will come along at church and we'll wake up on Christmas Day and I'll feel the absence of their presence in my gut.
But all things together, I'm blessed. Especially this year, I'm aware of this: they come, they go, they travel, but they're always here, somewhere, just a day away from a hug. We make memories with the time we have, whatever amount of imagination it takes to set the scene. And it is well, and it is good.
And it is Christmas.
Merry Christmas, y'all. Have some Ramen. And some Oreos.