I don’t know who gave Miranda this book… but THANK YOU to whomever did. We just picked it out of her massive collection last month, and we all love it. It’s a sweet story (from the JibJab guys!) about Santa having a rotten day on Christmas Eve, and how the thoughtfulness of strangers helps to make it better. Also, I just saw it’s now retailing for over 100 bucks on Amazon (I assume this edition is our of print)! So seriously, thanks to whomever gifted it to her… She got so many books before she was even born that I don’t remember!

At Christmastime, as a parent, I am Santa.

This year, I vowed not to be grumpy, and it’s working out.

We will not stress about gifts, about time, about meals, obligations, or weather.

We will bask in the light, even if the light is reflecting off inches of snow and ice. (Though seriously… enough snow already, Chicagoland…)

We will bask in each other.

We will bask in Jesus, in the silent, holy nights, because THAT is why we have this beautiful time of year… not for our own glory, not for programs or pretty cards or great parties or perfect gifts.

That said, I do enjoy all of those things:

The Bethlehem Walk at CCM allowed my brother and his sweet wife to reflect on their perfect gift…
this make a lovely card?)

Miranda and Kaity were part of the kids’ Christmas programs
at our church, and no…there is no sweeter music to me.

December has, for the past few years, been a big month of c r a s h i n g. The first two years we were married, I was recovery from/undergoing surgery. Then I was recovering from student teaching. Then from a C-section. Then 8 months pregnant. Then having 2 under 2 with the stomach flu (a cute rhyme, but an ugly thing). Last December and this one, I feel like it’s time to kick back and recover from the entire year, just the traveling and the ups and downs.

So we’re taking it s l o w l y… some days, too slow, because honestly, when we don’t have enough to do even the babies seem to lose their minds. I’m taking it so slowly, in fact, that just this weekend we realized there really weren’t many gifts bought and today as we shopped I still felt kinda, eh…

Whatever about the gifts. Our house looks beautiful, with beautiful, sacred music playing all the time. (Christmas music is THE Best). We’re warm. We’re healthy. We have friends to pray for, in particular –

one starting massive cancer treatment this week

one whose brand new baby is in the NICU

one whose baby is recovering from surgery

one whose son and his family just lost everything they had in a fire

– and because of things like that, we have reasons to pull together and give creatively and truly experience the love and grace of the season.

Incidentally, we’re spending some time experiencing it like this, and we’re pretty happy about that

(‘This’ being not posed like cheeseballs, but, you know, together!)