Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Blessings

We had a wonderful first Christmas with Gracie. It's so completely different to have a small person in your house! This was our fourth Christmas married, and I must say... the past couple years have really lost their sparkle. It's hard to get excited when it is just two adults buying each other "needs" since neither of us can think of any "toys" we actually want. Boring. And last year we were in the middle of our church transition, which added challenges in experiencing the spiritual side.

But then, Grace...

The fun started early. She affects every one of our decisions: Christmas cards instead of breakable ornaments, the hight of said cards on the tree, the location of said tree... She spent weeks petting that low branch and giggling. I guess fake pastic feels nice? (and yes, I did get a tree skirt made before the "big day.")

Our neighborhood has a fun tradition on Christmas Eve - the luminaria walk. Every house in the neighborhood - a 4 block by 6 block rectangle - is invited to place out luminaria at dusk on Christmas Eve. They line the sidewalk from about 4:30 until they burn out (most of ours were still going when we went to bed at 10). We bundled Grace up nice and warm and spent the evening wandering the streets while the nearby churches rang their bells and the Rees Carillion played out carols. This is the first year we participated, although we did go walking last year. I plan on this special time becoming a family tradition as long as we live here.

We enjoyed a modest but fun gift time before heading to church. And of course, I forgot to get a photograph of the super-exciting gown I made for Gracie. I'll dress her up again in the next day or two for pictures - once she's gotten over her tummy bug. I think we should have church on Christmas morning every year, not just the years it lands on Sunday. I can't think of anything more appropriate!

And thanks to Grace inspiring excitement in the season, I was even able to pull of a long-hoped-for surprise gift for Shaune. My husband is an excellent pianist and it has been a personal tragedy that he has not had access to a piano for years. Although a "real" piano is outside of our means right now, both by space and by cost, I succeeded in finding a sweet deal on a good quality keyboard. I even hid it and got it set up for Christmas without his suspecting a thing! It is such a blessing to have music (and Gracie's interpretation: slamming) spreading through our house at last.

Having a baby changes so much. There's many things I've lost - mainly, the ability to sleep through the night :D. But the things I've gained so outweigh the losses. Like the joy in remembering that long-ago happening where a young girl became a mom for the first time to the Son of God. I'm one step closer to understanding. Merry Christmas!

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