During the Christmas seasons of 2020 and 2021, I was very guarded about my excitement about our plans. Everything seemed tenuous and plans were changing from moment to moment. In spite of everything (including several delays and false alarms), we were blessed to be able to celebrate together both of those years!
And then this year, plans were derailed by an "ordinary" sickness.
On the day that they were to fly here for a 10-day visit, our kids were struck with a nasty tummy bug (which feels anything but "ordinary" when it hits!) and their trip was delayed . . . and then cancelled altogether when the bug hung on for dear life.
And so, it was a Christmas of "James," as much of this year was.
At the end of my last post, I prayed that we would all find joy in our celebrations.
And so, even though our celebrations did not go as planned and the disappointment was palpable at times, we continued to rejoice in the coming of our Savior and we found joy, even amid the changes. (Yes, even in "James!")
We had our traditional Christmas morning breakfast on Christmas Eve. One of us balked at this "James." ("You mean we're going to have Christmas morning breakfast on the day before Christmas and our Christmas buffet the day after Christmas?!) But Christmas was on a Sunday and in our slow-ish household, no one could imagine cooking a big breakfast, eating it leisurely, taking some over to Mom and Daddy, and being ready for church by 9:30, so Christmas Eve it was.
The menu was traditional, the same one we have had for twenty-ish years: Christmas Morning Casserole, baked oatmeal, Mom's orange rolls (although I made them this year for the first time), fruit salad, and sausage balls. (Oops. We forgot to get the sausage balls that Mom had made, so we ate those another day.)
We hadn't planned to attend the Christmas Eve candlelight service because it would have been late for Kati's babies, but since they were not here, we went. I was sad, but it was a lovely service.
Fun fashion note: Bekah has two dresses that are similar and she decided to wear the black one on Christmas Eve and the winter white one on Christmas Day. Of course, it was bitter cold so she added the red cardigan.
Nearly everything was different about Christmas Day.
We went to church in the morning, then opened our gifts to one another and had (what?!) Wedding Beef for lunch.
|That moment when you realize that you're twinning with Lamb Chop! 😂|
Our Christmas Day has always been full of people and feasting and celebrations, but this year all of that was for the next day. So we made some hot beverages, put our Christmas playlist on Spotify, and took a long drive. Very non-traditional, but we enjoyed it.
In the evening, we visited Mom and Daddy. Mom filled us with Christmas treats and I didn't take a single photo except the one of my treat-laden plate. 🤦🏻♀️
(It became tedious to always say "the day after Christmas" when we were making our plans, so Ryan started calling it "Post-Christmas" and that worked.)
On Post-Christmas, we had our usual family gathering, sans Kati and family and my Daddy who does not venture out much these days. Although we missed them greatly, it was a grand day of celebration, togetherness, laughter, and good food.
|We hadn't seen Katrina on her birthday earlier in the month,|
so she began the gift-opening time with a birthday present!
|Trying on Katrina's Mini Mouse hoodie, of course. |
Ron had the rest of the week off. But since Kati and Andrew and the babies were not here, we had to adjust our plans.
We had planned to share meals, soak up baby time (the babies are now 2 1/2 years and 18 months old, but they're still babies to me)
, drink coffee from our favorite coffee shop, and have long conversations with our faraway family (who we haven't seen since May). Sigh . . .
Instead . . .
We did a lot, but with no deadlines and no hurry.
I did almost no cooking because we had Christmas leftovers.
We spent an evening with Kristin and family.
Ron and I went out for breakfast at a new-to-us place.
We went antiquing on three different days in three different towns.
Bekah had friends over for games . . . twice.
We took several drives.
We drank eggnog lattes two more times.
We went out for dinner on New Year's Eve and then came home and played games.
So, although we would rather have had all of our dear ones near (and not sick!), and although we missed them so much, (and this mama confesses to some self-pity and some tears),
we experienced much joy and grace during this beautiful Christmastime of 2022! Emmanuel - God With Us!
The tree lights were off and Ron yawned BIG right in the middle of it (it was past his bedtime and he had no idea I was recording), but it was a beautiful way to usher in the new year . . . with Bekah playing "Be Thou My Vision."
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me save that Thou art!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
May HE be your vision in 2023!