Friday, December 17, 2010

I Celebrate the Day

Ah...Christmas. The most glorious wonderful commercialized time of year.

You know what I really started thinking about this year? The Christmas carol Little Drummer Boy. I really started listening to the words and I started to get a little annoyed. Who, who in their right mind would invite a drumming kid into a birthing suite? As if poor Mary wasn't miserable enough to have given birth amongst lambs and goats and cows and pigs and all the glorious mess that they produce...someone felt the need to ask a kid to come play a stinking drum? Are you kidding me? Mary nodded, pa-rum-pa-pa-pum...Are you sure? Because I'm pretty sure she would have drop kicked that kid if he tried playing a drum near her newborn baby while she was trying to recover and attempting to figure out how to get her baby to latch on. Seriously...who writes this stuff?

Regardless of my newfound distaste for the Little Drummer Boy and whoever invited him into the stable that night, I really do love Christmas. We have a few traditions we've worked on establishing in our little family - I really hope they carry through with us each year.

* Gifts - Each child gets three of them. We are actually just starting this one. Last year a friend of mine told me they get each of their children three gifts because that is how many gifts the Wisemen brought to Jesus. I loved the correlation and this year we adopted it. Limiting ourselves to three gifts has helped us to reign in our spending, especially since, with young children, they usually open one gift and are so enthralled with it they could care less about the other gifts. There was one year, a few years back, that they had so many gifts some gifts weren't completely unwrapped before they moved onto the next gift. I'm pretty sure that kind of excess isn't really going to help the character building. We also know that as they get older the gifts will get more expensive ... it will be nice for the kids to know they are limited in their wish list.

*Santa - we've gone back and forth on Santa but finally settled on Santa fills the kids stockings. Our main reason for this is, if our kids get a gift that totally knocks their socks off, I don't want to be giving credit to some strange fictional character. I also don't want our kids experiencing the disappointment of finding out Santa isn't real. So, although we talk about Santa filling their stockings, and leave him egg nog and donuts every year, we don't try to shelter our children from knowing the truth. There is something really fun about the magic and mystery of Santa though, so we didn't want to do away with him completely.

* Chinese Food - The last few years we have celebrated Christmas a few days early. This started one year when Mike was working Christmas day, but we've carried it on even though he's been home. It's been nice for the kids to open their gifts without the stress of having to get anywhere. Then we usually do something fun - a movie or the Children's Museum - and we end up at the local Chinese restaurant for dinner. The kids always always want fried rice and egg drop soup. Then we drive around and look at lights and finally head home and have ice cream. It's been so much fun creating our own little tradition. This year the kids will open gifts on Christmas morning since we don't have to be anywhere until later in the day and Mike is off, but he is off in the days leading up to Christmas as well, so we will still do something really fun and end up with Chinese food, lights and ice cream.

That's pretty much it. I would like to start a cookie making or gingerbread house making tradition - but that would require forethought and planning. I would also like to start making gifts for our families but again...the whole preplanning things seems elusive.

Anyway, there is a real possibility I won't be posting again until after Christmas and so ...

Merry Christmas!  I pray your Holiday is filled with family, laughter and love and most importantly the remembrance of what we are really celebrating - the birth of the Savior who was born to die so we might live. I'll leave you with my favorite Christmas tune of all times and the pictures we sent out on our Christmas cards this year. Merry Christmas!!

And with this Christmas wish is missed
The point I could convey
If only I could find the words to say to let You know how much You've touched my life
Because here is where You're finding me, in the exact same place as New Year's eve
And from a lack of my persistency
We're less than half as close as I want to be

And the first time
That You opened Your eyes did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever

And so this Christmas I'll compare the things I felt in prior years
To what this midnight made so clear
That You have come to meet me here

To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
In the hope that what You did
That you were born so I might [ really ]live
To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me

And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life


Pam Landy said...

LOVE the exuberant family pics, and I might have to steal your Chinese food family tradition for the big day. It sounds entirely stressless and just about perfect. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

TM said...

Definitely loving those pictures! And I've added that song to my Christmas playlist.
Have a wonderful, joy filled Christmas!!

Sarah said...

Your family is so adorable! Love the pics. I also love your Chinese food idea. It doesn't matter so much now with little little ones, but when the kids are older it would be fun to have our own christmas thing since daddy getting the holiday actually off is about as miraculous as the virgin birth.

Merry Christmas!

twyla said...

I love your pictures and I wish I would have thought through the Santa dilemma when my kids were younger. I was taken completely by surprise one year when one of my kids complained that "Santa never brought anything cool" the year after he got a playstation 2 for Christmas. Why did we ever let Santa give the expensive stuff? Then I had to defend him. Bad plan.
As for the Little Drummer Boy, which happens to be my favorite Christmas song, I think of it as doing whatever you can for your Lord. He is comparing his "gift" to the gifts of wealthy, talented givers. This song usually makes me cry when I think about what I can give my King when I am just a "poor boy" in comparison.
I will be waiting ever so impatiently for your post-Christmas post. =)

CM said...

Awwww, love the pics!!! What a beautiful family.

Santa...yeah, I'm still trying to figure that one out too.

Have a wonderful Christmas!