Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Traditions

I love this time of year.
All the little things that make up our family's Christmas traditions are added up together until my cup overflows with the love of it all.
It's that moment when you stop and look at a stack of boxes on the counter and get all tingly inside because it signals what is ahead if I so chose to over-look the business of it all and focus on the meaning of why we celebrate Christmas.
Christ's birth.

How in the world did these 3 boxes remind me of Christmas?
They have nothing inside of them that speak of the 3 wise men. They were honestly filled with a couple of books, some sow suits and something else that I can't even remember. But somehow, the gifts, still yet to be wrapped in Christmas finery, standing next to my little cupcake stand filled with votive candles and glittery balls whispered "it's coming" into my ear and that little thrill of anticipation I get coursed through me.
It's time for the gifts to be added together and build up to the culmination of remembering Christ's Birth.
It's the good stuff.
The stuff that says life is Holy if you chose to see:
Baking cookies with my children:
Good Lookin' and I had made up dough enough to made 14 dozen cookies one afternoon while the baby took an incredibly rare afternoon nap all at the same time. It was our sweet afternoon together.
Two days later, we rolled it all out and spent an entire day cutting, slicing, re-rolling and baking all 14 dozen cookies.

Almost-tween hands next to rapidly disappearing baby pudge.
My babies are rapidly growing up before my eyes.

Sweet happy spirals of Christmas cheer.
Never mind that a certain pre-schooler thought it just as fun to throw sprinkles in the air and watch the "color rain!"

Gifts of Good Cheer

Ice skating together as a family

This is a new tradition that we started a year ago thanks to the college student that lived with us for a time.
Some of us were not so enthusiastic about the feeling of heavy skates on our feet:

Others of us sobbed for the first 30 minutes terrified that we were going to fall.
(Not Luke) He knew he would fall and that is part of skating and part of life.
It's the getting back up and on your feet and skating on that matters.

Watching and pouting from the side-lines is not nearly as fun as gliding on ice.
He figured out it truly was fun about 10 minutes before closing time. ; )
Some of us have waited so long that it doesn't matter that the old skates don't fit and that our legs threaten to fail us. We are determined to enjoy the day because, by golly, we've waited a whole year for this!
And although we aren't fabulous, we can certainly pick back up where we left off the year before.
And then there are those of us who are there to make a new friend wherever we go because life is just that much sweeter when you have someone to share the fun with and to encourage...even if you may never see them again.
It's that eureka moment when you realize that even if you do fall and the ice is hard, you can always get up again, and glide on with the aid of a helping hand and it is all about being together and cheering on another on and that is fun!

Watch out mom. We are all standing on our own!

They are all happily chewing on their Christmas bones that the kids begged to give them early.

Gazing into the valley at the milk cows below.

"DOWN THERE is where you miwk comes fwrom!" I overheard Nater Mater tell his little friend.
"Uh-huh" was the (I already knew that) smug reply.
They are so certain of their little worlds. ; )

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