So Christmas is over. The lights look a little less twinkly, the garland is falling limp and the wrapping paper has all been ripped. No matter how you prepare for it, after Christmas let down is always a tad depressing. And in an effort to honor the season and be thankful, instead of slip into the after Christmas funk, lamenting over my children's attitudes of entitlement and the pile of returns I am not sure I'll ever get around to, I have decided to make a list of the wonderful things that happened this season!
-We had Amanda's first Christmas and she was so sweet and cute in all her little dresses.
-My sons sang wonderfully in the Christmas program and both were so pleased with their costumes...Gavin a wise man ("the green one mom") and Brayden the cow ("I say MOOOO")
-We did our annual tradition of delivering cider to those we want to honor for their quiet service to others and it was wonderful! The boys kinda got it (as opposed to last year...see december 2009 blog) and they participated fully, with grins wearing their Santa hats.
-Gavin loved (and Brayden tolerated) reading the Advent book we have and both of them have much of the scripture in it memorized, by reading it each night.
-The boys and I made a birthday cake for Jesus and they were so excited and proud.
-The boys were very patient during gift time.
-My family decided to do a service project with the kids and collect/buy items to create bags to hand out to the homeless. The kids got in the assembly line and fully participated, helpfully without complaint.
-My husband has been super dad and given me multiple hours with only one (and sometimes none) kid. The best was the day after Christmas...he took the boys so I could make a secret trip to the goodwill with old toys and clothes and put away all the Christmas stuff without little people underfoot!
-We have had the opportunity to do such fun things as a family, go ice skating, go out to eat, go Christmas light looking...
-Shawn and I have had two date opportunities and one with the boys staying overnight at Grandma and Grandpas!
-I had the chance to reconnect with a friend from highschool and meet her sweet family.
-We are getting to go up to a friend's lake house for New Years with some of our closest friend's and their kids.
We are blessed. After Christmas can be hard. All the ramp up and suddenly the celebration seems to stop. But when I look at my life, I mean really sit back and take stock...WOW! Not only do I have salvation and a God who has given me eternal life, to spite my sinful nature, but he has blessed me over and over again. Sometimes simple, sometimes awe-striking...He continues to provide far more than I can ask for or imagine...just like His word promises.
And so, when it seems so easy to slip back into the routine and the grind, I am going to work on training my heart. Because when I stop and look for the gifts, I see that God didn't just stop with Christmas and Christ's birth. He kept going and kept giving. I am going to try and do the same. Not just be thankful at Christmas, but keep going. If He did that for me...surely I can do this for Him.