I know it's January, because there are diets, juice cleanses, to-do lists, and crazy-faithful exercising going on in my house. Is it still Christmas, though? For Ebenezer Scrooge did indeed say, "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!"
It's easy to keep Christmas when you're in the flurry of preparations! The lights go up just when the long nights begin to get the best of you...
and the bright ornaments and hot tea make everything that much more cheerful!
|Melanie, Lauren, Mikaela, Mama, Jonah, Papa, Susanna, Micah|
Everything feels like Christmas when you're with family!
Many concerts, recitals, and fun times with friends!
Lots of Christmas cookies and candies!
And then, before anyone quite knew what had happened, December 24th descended upon us. We'd kept Christmas all month, striving to keep the Christ Child at the center of everything, and now the day itself had nearly arrived. The peaceful foggy day was the next best thing to snow during that bustling day. In the evening, festivities began in earnest as we sat down to our traditional fondue meal, attended Heritage Bible's candlelight Christmas Eve service, opened one present (surprise! new pjs!), and watched The Nativity.
Mikaela: "Can we get some manpower here, before they drop me?"
Jonah: "Do I have to carry all the weight around here?"
There's nothing quite like Christmas night as a child. The anticipation and delight of such a long-awaited, purely enjoyable event is not tainted by adult maladies such as exhaustion, to-do lists, and practicality. Nevertheless, Christmas night is still a night of wonder--and I'm always filled with excitement for the beautiful morning that awaits me.
Papa had a camera theme this year in his presents!
My most precious present was this disc necklace made by Jonah, who pounded out the middle of a silver half dollar, heated it, hammered it, and then glazed it. It's truly a work of art!
What 34 pound item do you think Uncle Dan shipped to us?
Try items...as in thirty-four pounds of chocolates and candies. Giddiness and consternation abounded!
|Mikaela, Julie, and Lauren|
Special guests joined us in the afternoon for Christmas dinner.
|Felicity with Papa|
|Jacob and Jonah | Micah, James, Julie, and Matt|
|Mrs. S and Mama|
But guess what? Christmas wasn't over!
Joel came for a visit shortly after Christmas, and we were overjoyed to have six days together. God blessed us in an extraordinary way by providing airplane tickets, proving once again His goodness and abiding faithfulness in our lives--in both the good times and the bad times!
|Micah, Michael, Jonah, Mikaela, Lauren, Susanna, and Melanie|
Cousin Michael also stopped in for a visit!
And we managed to find the time for a New Year's Day Ball.
December, Christmas, and the New Year was marvelous: it really was easy to honor Christmas when surrounded by loved ones and delightful festivities! And now it's January--the month for tea, good books, gradually longer days, winter beauty, and exciting plans. Christmas isn't over, for the message of Christmas continues year round. Be encouraged--Jesus came to save!
We've blogged about every Christmas since starting One Bright Corner! If you care to reminisce with me, here are the links:
- Christmas 2012: Laughs, Chocolate, Traditions, Family, and the Birth of a Baby
- Christmas 2011: A Traditional Christmas
- Christmas 2010: Come We Merrily on Christmas Morn
- Christmas 2009: Born is the King of Israel!