I always look forward to Christmas. The anticipation and planning is exciting and keeps me smiling during this time of year. I love the break from school to be with family and in my own home where it is warm and the smell of baking fills the air. This year was especially nice because the kids were home and stayed longer than usual. I so love finding treasures for each of them and thinking about what would surprise them. It becomes a challenge and daily ritual until all the gifts are neatly wrapped and piled under the tree. When the little ones see it for the first time, their expressions are priceless as they run towards the tree to check for their names.
I really don't care about the getting part and people get frustrated with my lack of "list". All it takes is a sentimental card or a picture that reminds me of a special time and I get all sappy and become teary eyed. In years past it was a contest to see who could "make mom cry". Well...to be honest, that doesn't take much. My heart is way to soft for it's own good.
Of course, not everything goes perfectly, the prime rib didn't get warm and I panicked about that, the effervescent wine we brought home from Italy blew all over the kitchen when the cork was popped, I couldn't remember how to work the self-timer on my camera to the dismay and impatience of those waiting to eat and the little one in the high chair decided she was finished and turned the tray full of corn and cheesy potatoes over on the floor. Despite those temporary set backs, we all ate, dressed and made it to church for a blessed Christmas Eve Service. There is something incredibly precious about having your family in church...(especially when it's not Christmas or Easter but that's a blog for another day).
We had a wonderful Christmas and my heart was full from all the hugs and kisses, the squealing, laughter and teasing and kids reminiscing memories. It seems that everyone is a little more loving, tolerant, appreciative and kind. I was keenly aware of my blessings this year as everyone is basically healthy and happy and there are no major problems that we have to deal with. That is blessing beyond blessing and it was sadly not the case in some families this year.
Then, in the blink of an eye it's over. People have to go home, the tree and lights have to come down and it's back to work and the normal every day things. There are things that just thrill me beyond words and then, so quickly, they are over and somehow I must find a way to be okay with that. My thrills (aside from our trip to Italy) almost always swirl around the ones I love and getting to see them or be with them. I think it is probably okay if I am disappointed when it's over. I think about all this and how blessed I am and what a good life I have to enjoy on a daily basis. I have much to look forward to as I anticipate the next time those special thrills come my way.
Then, I am reminded that in this life, we always have that anticipation. When Christ died, He gave us something grand to look forward to. Despite the disappointments of this world, He told us that He would return to take us to Him if only we believe in Him and His work of salvation on the cross. There is hope and joy that pale in comparison to any happiness we have experienced in this world.
In the blink of an eye, our lives will be over and then...get ready for the real thrills to begin.