Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Common Christmas

Christmas and the days surrounding it can often be a blur. My prayer was to intentionally cherish the time shared with our loved ones this year. Rather than think ahead to the what ifs of the future, I wanted to embrace the moment.

Heading over to my parents for breakfast Christmas Eve morning, my emotions were unsettled. I didn't know what to expect as we walked in the front door. Concern attempted to consume me as Mom had just informed me that Dad has been having night sweats and running a fever once again. Praying for an infection rather than the feared alternative, I wanted to be prepared for anything.

It was just a common Christmas celebration. To be honest, it seemed a little strange. Shouldn't our celebration this year have been different? Maybe we could have sat around listening to stories and sharing memories of past years. Possibly home videos would have made this year special. With all that has happened in the past year, I had expectations of a sentimental Christmas.

Other than the interruption from Dad's home nurse, we had a rather ordinary celebration on Christmas Eve Day. The breakfast feast was overabundant as always. The kids still begged to open presents. Dad donned the big red suit filled with stuffing and passed out candy canes. Mrs. Claus was by his side once again and helped to calm the uncertainties of the little ones. There were board games and card games. Christmas music and movies. The kids played with no care in the world.

Before we knew it, we were out the door for the annual Christmas Eve celebration with Dad Carlson's cousins and their families. The atmosphere was festive as always. This is one moment we thank God for our minivan as the kids walk away with mountains of gifts. This family is more than generous! (Jaycie had a breakdown the next day demanding more presents -- she kind of got into the spirit of greed.)

The girls woke up to find presents from "Santa" under the tree on Christmas morning. We were off to Rod's parents' house in time for lunch where the girls found plenty more gifts to be unwrapped. Good conversation was ample and the girls were well behaved at all the parties. We ate numerous meals with cookies and pies. There was even time for Scrabble and Spoons.

And it was over. Just like that. No big revelations. No extraordinary memories. Just an ordinary Christmas. Common celebrations like every other year. I cherish them because next year holds no promises. We must cherish every moment we are blessed to have together. I'm grateful for the blessing this year to have a common Christmas to cherish.

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