Friday, December 28, 2012

bottled joy

I know that Christmas is not about the presents. 
I think that I do a fairly good job at teaching my children the same...
that Christmas is about Christ, 
that true gifts are those of love,
both on the giving and receiving end.
When I asked Kieran to draw a card for his teacher for Christmas, I fully expected to see a tree with ornaments, presents abound and Santa on his sleigh.
Rushing out the door for school as usual, I was stopped in my tracks and was filled with pride that Kieran had not chosen to draw any of the sort.
There, on the white computer paper he had written: "Dear Mrs. B, I hope you have a happy break".
On the inside in his very best attempt (art is not his favorite activity, but this was the best of his best),
a manger scene.
I'm not sure why it is, but there are times when I've felt guilty in a way, by extending Christmas in giving it a dual meaning...meaning Jesus and Santa Claus.
Am I confusing them?
Am I diluting the true reason by taking away from Jesus and giving in to Santa?
To some, maybe.
And then I think, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus"!
I find delight in his reaction 

to receiving ski poles.
Those are the poles that will be with him as he flies down the mountain alongside his daddy and his papa.
I find excitement in hers
as this is the bike
that she will learn to ride alongside her brother and daddy (I don't have one ;)).
I find myself filled with great anticipation
that she will continue to develop her love and appreciation for music for it has been a large part of my life thanks to my mom and dad.
It's the time that we spend with family
whether it's your husband cooking with his father (who never cooks and joined in alongside his son to learn something new),
or your mother-in-law
having a "conversation" with her grandbaby,
that matters.
It's the photo with your phone that didn't come out so great
but is a cherished memory because it's the only picture you have of yourself with your mom and dad and (almost) all of your kids since the baby went to bed to say, "I was here".
It's the funny times that you want to remember, 
like when your two year old is obsessed with her new puffer jacket and her big sister's bike and helmet
that she just can't
get enough.
It's the tradition of eating apple pancakes,
because it's that fattening that you only eat it once a year.
It's the thrill of the light strip that Daddy mounted under the bed,

that prompted her to model some of her favorite colors and makes you smile.
My guilt melts away as I believe in my heart that it's not about the material items themselves so much as it is the time that was spent and will be spent laughing, dancing, cooking, eating, skiing, biking, talking, just being...together.
And if it means a visit to him...
along with a manger scene for Him,
so be it. 
I will have bottled the joy that is Christmas to live it all year long.

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It's a beautiful noise-And it's a sound that I love- And it makes me feel good-Like a hand in a glove -Yes it does, yes it does-What a beautiful noise

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