This Christmas sure has been different for us, and there are many reasons why. In trying to organize my own thoughts, I decided to tick off the 12 gifts/revelations/new traditions,etc. that have come our way during this season.

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13

There were definitely things about this Christmas that we would have planned – or did plan – differently. They range from the gifts (what we thought of buying the kids, those new cozy bath towels Rod and I discussed) to the decor (we wanted a Nativity for our front yard) to the plans ( at one point we thought Josh and my parents would be here, but none of that happened).

But in the absence of plans… We found the freedom from expectation and the gift of contentment. Without 50 places to run or 50 people to please, without the necessary tools to Do It Up Big In Every Way, with some new knowledge of the deeper meanings of Christmas, with some stories of tragedy that struck close to home, our stress level was lightened, our perspective sharpened, our path clear.

We lived in the moment.
We enjoyed the unexpected moments.
We opened our home
we found our Christmas.

This doesn’t mean all our circumstances were changed or problems solved. It doesn’t mean we didn’t miss our son, parents, niece and nephew, friends. But it does mean we were able to celebrate with our whole selves, not wanting or pining for what we didn’t have.

it worked out pretty well …

I hope your Christmas, like ours, was merry, bright, and content!