Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Ponderings

It has been getting increasingly more difficult to answer people when they ask where we are from.

Our beloved family and all the cherished memories of our child-hood and growing up, are in California.

Our most recent place of abode (not counting the numerous hotels, and the homes of hospitable friends) is Colorado.

And our hearts have recently been planted and are quickly taking root in Idaho!

This Thanksgiving was the first we have not spent with family, yet we felt right at home in North Carolina; and at Christmas we again missed our parents and siblings, but were welcomed warmly by our friends in Missouri.

While it would be very hard to top some of the sweet holidays I enjoyed growing up, this season was especially unique. We discovered fellowship with people who don't share our blood, but we are family because we are all adopted by God!
I wish I could pull all those I love close to me at will - that's a pipe dream I suppose, and unrealistic unfortunately.

But here's the good news: enjoying rich times of fellowship with those I love is like a little piece of Heaven here on earth. And even though I can't make those times or people last forever... Heaven is near!
We'll have that perfect pleasure soon.

Until that time, let the bitter distances cause you to long for Jesus and the promise of an amazing eternity with your loved ones,
and make sure you cherish the little glimpse of heaven that you have!


At the home of our friends the Tjaden's, their Christmas tree was enjoyed for the holiday season, but then removed on Christmas Eve to make room for the celebration of Jesus birth!

All the evening before dinner on Christmas
Eve, the children took it upon themselves to create a Christmas pageant. There was snipping and tucking, tying and pinning, as the older girls designed costumes for all the participants.

Mary and the shepherd were seen enjoy
ing a few secrets, while Joseph waited patiently for his attire, and a little angel beamed from ear to ear.

All Christmas day I had an urg
e to gather the children and play games, but what I heard from around the corner, was the piano softly caroling while the Christmas story was read over and over again. At intervals there were instructions on where to stand:

There w
as the prompting of lines, and an occasional concession for one or another of the angels who preferred to sit on the couch rather than wait for their cue behind the kitchen wall.

When the rubber met the road, there was no way I could (or wanted to) interrupt the little brigade. They were so intent on getting things just so, and I'm sure I couldn't have captivated their attention that long! It was truly amazing.

The p
roduction went off mercifully well, despite one angel who got stage fright at the last minute, and a shy Mary who had to be bossed around by Joseph - careful husband that he was.

I was so blessed.

What a special way to spend Christmas!

"Happy Birthday to YOU Jesus!"

I hope you were able to get a little taste of Heaven this Christmas too:-)

Momma Bug


Lady Jess said...

Oh, how sweet! What great memories.

Morgan said...

Wow, that is all so sweet. I love it! Those are amazing photos and memories in them!

I'm intrigued by the fact that your friends had a tree all season and then took it down on Christmas Eve. My husband didn't want a tree, but wanted a cross instead. It didn't seem like Christmas without a tree to me, but that sounds like a great compromise. What did they put in its place when they took it down?

Merry (late) Christmas to you and your beautiful, precious family!

Momma Bug said...


I have enjoyed following your life in little snippets too:-)

I believe this was the first year that our friends were in their own home for Christmas, so were trying out some things they might like to continue as future traditions.

I agree with you about the tree.
Let me tell you how OUR Christmas is morphing:

We (historically) have not exchanged gifts since our children have come into the family.
Christmas day we stay home. We make lots of fun snacky Christmas food - clam dip and chips, homemade toffee, a special recipe we call "Rainmaker Shrimp" (which is 12 count shrimp cooked in a secret brine, and chilled), and of course, a Birthday cake for Jesus!

If family or friends want to exchange gifts, we attempt to do that on another day during the Christmas season.
I love letting the children set up the Nativity my brother made for me, and besides some party-ish things like balloons and such, I have occasionally picked up a couple fun things for us to enjoy as a family.
These would be things like a puzzle, or a big book with lots of pictures in it.

Initially AJ and I pulled completely away from our usual Christmas to-do. It was hard, but as a result, my children have no expectations of tearing into gifts, and they KNOW what we are celebrating on that day! I love it!
As I said, we like to have a tree. Now I know that there is debate about whether Christmas is even originally a Christian celebration - ultimately we decided that we both have always seen Christmas as a time to celebrate Christs birth, and our Salvation through His blood. Because of that, our Christmas tree is a reminder of the significance of Christs birth.

I did like the Tjaden's idea of removing the tree on Christmas Eve, but is wonderful how unique each family is in their traditions and also in how each family's love for Jesus demonstrates itself so differently!

Just like every day, you have a choice how to use it. What to think about, what to dwell on, how to act, what to say, what NOT to say and do...
I love to slow down during the Christmas season and decorate cookies with the kiddos - we do stars, crosses, and J's for Jesus too! :-)

It is so GOOD to evaluate WHY you are doing what you are doing. It also builds character and resolve to do something different from usual flow. That being said, it is such a delight to remember we are FREE in Christ!

I look forward to seeing how you grow in your walk with the Lord, and as a lovely wife and mother Morgan. It has been a pleasure!


Mommy Reg said...

What an awesome Christmas memory! The kids sure knew what to do for a Christmas activity. You were a good mommy just getting out of the way and letting them be. It reminds me of how we are to stand back and let God do his agenda instead of what we plan.

princessmama said...

What fun! Our kiddos can sure amaze us with their tenacity when they have a purpose can't they:-) We as a family have continued to exchange gifts for Christmas, but as my health improves and I am moving beyond just survival I would really like to add some things to our holiday celebration. I will really have to ask God for wisdom as I research ideas and as always figure out the bustle of including extended family on that busy(for us) day. I think we are going to have to spread more family things out over the surrounding week and slow down a bit on Christmas itself, at the same time we really enjoy seeing all our large extended family whom we are lucky to live near. Well, we have a whole year to work on it and see what we come up with next year.

I really enjoyed the pictures of the kid's skit, they are so cute:)

Ashley said...

What sweet and wonderful Christmas memories. Thanks for sharing them with us. :)

And it's good to here from you again...


2homeschool said...

Wonderful pictures deary. Sounds like they went beyond all expectations. It was nice to talk to you. Thank you for your call. I am on face book now but I will try and keep up with my blogging just for you. However, I couldn't get my computer to upload the video to my website. :-( so sad. I will try again if we ever get our internet fixed (hopefully soon).

Love, Heather

Momma Bug said...

See? That's what I'm talking about - Facebook kills the committed blogger. It's just a fact!

If Mother Hen is a facebooker, than I will retract my statement, but otherwise...

Love you:-)

Uncle and Auntie Hightower <>< said...

Merry Christmas Love Family!!! WE LOVE YOU GUYS!