The biggest events of the year are now history, aren't they? Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, that is.
Of course, if you are a believer in Christianity, Christmas -or the spirit -is or should be with us always. We may not see it that way at all times, but in reality that really is how things should be. It's a season where giving is what is the main thrust of the celebration and we, as believers, receive this gift on Christmas and have it with us and to share throughout the year, don't we?
And it is that giving should become paramount to all of us -not just at Christmas but forever.
Christmas -getting things ready -was quite a procedure here for me -a lot of baking took place and finally got to do a bit of Christmas shopping. Then, waiting Friday night till the kids -and Mandy too -were all in bed so I could get those few gifts all wrapped and ready.
When the kids got up Saturday morning, the excitement began to build for them when they saw the piles of packages sitting in some boxes and an empty laundry basket in the dining room. You can bet they were looking at tags on them to see whose name was on each present, that's for sure!
In an effort to try to ward off problems -mainly with Maya (who has a major obsession about equality in gifts) I didn't wrap the kids gifts individually. Instead, I found two fairly large boxes that all the items I had for them would fit into and then wrapped their stuff as one big gift for each child. That way, if Maya decided she had to check the numbers -how many items Kurtis received vs how many she got - I could point to the box and show her she got one big gift and so did he. (It also cut down a good bit on the usage of gift wrap paper too in that process -an added bonus when it was clean-up time, ya know.
Mandy had to work Saturday morning but I was able to keep the kids fairly well occupied with only some minor spats. I thought it was going to be one of those days when one or both of them was going to be roaming from one thing to another of getting into mischief when I got up, and there was Maya in the bathroom, rinsing her hair! A good bit of water splashed -of course -all over the bathroom floor and that sight didn't give me very positive vibes, that's for sure. There she was with her bathing suit on -of all things on a very cold morning -head over the sink, cold water running and a small container in her hand that she was using to collect the water and to try to rinse the obvious soapsuds out of her hair. I ended up turning on the shower and having her kneel over the tub and rinsing the suds out and admonished her with the fact that any more stunts like that today and Gram was gonna get on the phone and make a call to a very important number. After all, I informed her that she needed to remember I just happen to have Santa's number on speed dial!
Apparently that warning did some good because both kids were actually pretty calm after that start to my day.
Around 2 p.m. it was time to get ready for church as there was to be a candlelight service at 4 p.m. and the children from our church were going to be doing their little pageant at the opening part of that service. As such, they were doing a nativity scene and Maya had the honor of being Mary, while Kurtis was to be a shepherd. They were both thrilled to be in this pageant and therefore, there were no complaints about getting ready for church that day.
Here's the video Mandy did of the Nativity as presented by the kids at our church this year.
After church and back home, time to get supper on the table! I had fixed a ham, cheesy hash brown potato casserole, broccoli and cauliflower, along with cranberry-orange relish, Swedish Bondost cheese and nut rolls of various flavors all sliced up on a big platter. Considering how picky both kids can be about food at times and especially Maya where potatoes are concerned, supper went relatively smooth enough with Kurtis being the one who was doing a good bit of lollygagging around, playing with his food but finally finishing up.
We were going to wait to do our gift exchange till Uncle Clayton, his girlfriend, Elizabeth and her son, Ryan got down to the house but decided to preserve a bit of our own sanity, we would go ahead and distribute presents and then open those family gifts. Then, when they finally arrived, the kids got the excitement of watching them open presents so it lasted for a second round that way!
Surprisingly enough, both kids went to bed very nicely a bit later than their usual bedtime -around 10 p.m. -but no fussing over having to hit the sack that as both of them were pretty darned tuckered out by then. (They're both accustomed to a pretty firm bedtime of 8 p.m. so two hours over that time and yes, they were happy to head off to dreamland!)
Both kids got an abundance of presents for sure! Mandy had signed them both up for a program run by a church about 18 miles or so from us that does a gift campaign for children and through that as well as a friend who enrolled them in the Toys for Tots program too, they had one fantastic Christmas, for sure! Lots and lots of new clothes and a goodly number of toys as well so both of them are very well outfitted now.
The rest of Christmas Day was a very lazy day as both Mandy and I spent the time relaxing while the kids enjoyed checking out their new toys with only one minor incident late today when Maya started to get ready to claim that Kurtis got more than she did but I was able to cut her off at the pass on that incident as soon as I saw it beginning to surface. Thank goodness for that small favor so the meltdown was avoided completely!
And now tonight, as I type this, I wish everyone could have a Christmas like ours was -peaceful, calm, food in abundance and more gifts than two small children really needed, for sure.
But as great as all that was to enjoy what I'd really love to see is people taking the opportunity to worship on this special occasion to recognize the REAL reason for this beautiful and very meaningful holiday. To share in the Good News that Christ, the King, came to earth 2000 years ago with the gifts of love, peace and goodwill toward ALL is the most beautiful present of all.
Merry Christmas! And, of course, a Very Happy New Year!