Christmas, this year, was smaller than other years.
Christmas, this year, was still as beautiful as it ever has been, but for different reasons than years past.
My little family didn't have many places to rush to this year. We didn't have houses so completely full of people that we all felt overwhelmed or unable to visit with those people who were filling said houses. I know that I felt comfortable, and pleased, and blessed to share my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the people who I did get see and visit with, though I did miss those who were unable to celebrate with us, too.
After a trying 4 pm mass on Christmas Eve for my
We "did" Christmas morning at our house with our children who were so very excited to wake up to a few presents and a trampoline! (Which, btw, has saved my couches
Then we went to my mom and dad's house for brunch with my immediate family. We spent time together, all of us: my parents, my brothers and my sister
Our late afternoon/evening was spent with my husband's family. Fewer people were part of that celebration than usual, but again, it was still wonderful. It was also calm. Oddly, calm is a relative term as there were 11 beautiful children running around and full of Christmas! What I found to be so very beautiful, this year especially, is that I don't just view them as, "my husband's family" anymore. They are just another part of my family. They are just my.family.too. I love this. They are a part of the whole that I call family. His sisters and brothers
My family, in it's whole.ness, is messy. Even in the messy (and there is much mess), it is still beautiful. and it's mine. all mine. and for this gift, the gift of my whole family, I am thankful. I know that I am blessed.
I learned, in new ways this year, that family can't always be all together. For this reason or that, every single person can't show up to all of the places all of the times. Sometimes family members find themselves apart because of sickness, or because of weather, or because of the many miles in between, or perhaps, because of conflict.
I learned, in new ways this year, that if family members are apart, to accept the distance and love from afar.
I learned, in new ways this year, that it's also about being able to make the choice to love those in your presence more deeply. More fully. More gracefully.
I learned, in new ways this year, to appreciate those in front of me in ways that I hadn't previously.
I learned, in new ways this year, that my darling children and my husband can bring me Christmas Joy not just on Christmas day, not just during the season of Christmas, but on any of the days. on all of the days. I just have to choose to see it. To see the joy. That's the secret, I think. The choice, the seeing. The act of choosing, and the act of seeing. When I do choose, and when I do see, I am overwhelmed with grace.
Be overwhelmed with grace.
Blessings! and Joy!