Ready or Not – Christmas is Here!

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Ready or Not – Christmas is Here!

Just like any big event, there comes a point when it is kickoff time. All of the planning and preparing has to be done, because ready or not, it’s here. Christmas Eve finally arrives and things begin to happen fast and furiously. All shopping, wrapping, baking and decorating should be done by now. At our house, we spend Christmas Eve day preparing for a house full of family and friends. When our children were young, we would go to church in the early evening and then gather at our house. Now that they are older, we gather first and go to the later church service. I make cheese soup every year and we have cold cut sandwiches and Christmas goodies. Our group has grown in number and size over the years. It has been especially fun to watch the kids change and grow up. After we eat, we gather upstairs for our annual Christmas play. This play began with three toddlers, now we have 14 kids from 29years old to 6 months. It is really fun to look back on those Christmas Eve videos to see who played what part that year and even see our Jewish neighbors participating in the production. After the play, we exchange gifts and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and say “goodnight” to many of them and “see you tomorrow” to some of them. Before I get into bed on Christmas Eve, I take some time to be quiet and enjoy all of my favorite things. With everything ready for tomorrow, I love to sit by the tree and fire and have a cup of Christmas punch as I look at everything so beautifully wrapped beneath a tree laden with a lifetime of ornaments and memories. And I give thanks – for my friends and family, for God’s many blessings and for the greatest gift of all – Jesus. These last few moments before bedtime are my some of my favorite times, the calm before the storm. And then, bright and early (not so early now that our kids are older) Christmas morning is here. When our children were growing up, the rule was that our kids couldn’t get up until 7am even if they were awake. Not only did we need that sleep, but they sure did as well. After the younger ones awakened the older sleepers, the kids all got in our bed until we could hang the stockings, make coffee and tea, and put the egg casserole and rolls in the oven. Now that Colt is the last man standing and sleeping at our house on Christmas morning, we all gather in the living room when we wake up. As breakfast is baking, we open our stockings, which is a very hilarious time because of what can be put in a stocking and also what can be said of those items. By that time our married children and grandchildren have joined us and we eat breakfast together. Fortified for the task ahead, we then move upstairs and open our gifts. We take our time and enjoy each other’s company and the rest of the day is spent reading instructions, putting things together and trying everything out. All in all, it is one of our best days as a family. Christmas is about Christ and all that He brings to our lives – love, laughter and redemption. Thank you so much for allowing me to share a few of our family traditions and memories. I’m looking forward expectantly to how these will either continue or adjust to our family now that 3 out of 4 of our children are married and having families of their own. After all that’s what traditions are all about; passing on that sense of identity, sense of belonging, and the sense of security. My prayer for all of you is that your home will be a haven of joy for every member of your family, rich with wonderful memories. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:15-20 May Christ be first in your heart and home this year. Merry Christmas

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