Christmas is among us! Our Pikes Peak National Forest Christmas tree stands in our living room twinkling its little lights and silver, cream, blue, and red ornaments hanging from random branches. Intermixed are the ornaments of both Josh and I’s childhood and also new ones that we have received as we’ve begun our life together. This will be our fourth Christmas together, which really it doesn’t seem that long but life has filled those four years with many blessings. This morning I was thinking about how Christmas time is one of my favorite holidays. Not only for the main reason, that it is a celebration of quite the miracle to have “Noel”…”God among us” Peace! Joy! In a world full of darkness. What hope! But also, I love this time of year. It feels more home-y. It feels warm and full of goodness. There is something comforting looking at a tree taken from the wilderness now displaying jumpy lights. One of my favorite traditions has come later in my life… in Josh’s family. Every Christmas Eve, it is a day of family, of love, of laughing, of giving truly out of your heart. We have one person that we make a gift for- yes, MAKE, a gift for. You can use some hidden or shown talent of yours to bless another. Hours are spent thinking of something creative and sometimes days are spent building creations. The part that I love and think is so sweet is when it comes time to give. The person who is receiving has to sit in the middle of the family circle and receive a blessing of sorts, a card written by their secret Santa. Then they close their eyes and before them is placed the handmade gift. I love watching each face as they realize what has been made. It never fails to see tears during the letter part but the joy and appreciation and love when they see the hard work of the gift is so special. It is such an intimate time with my family and I am so thankful for them in my life. It always touches me right in the core of who God has created me to be and yet has been pushed down to avoid emotional feelings. But last year, it hit me, that I am who I am. I can be sensitive. I, too, can cry at the sweetness of it all. It truly is beautiful and how blessed I am to be included in such a beautiful representation of what Christmas is all about.
Christmas Eve is so dear to my heart as it used to be my favorite part within my own family, as well, while I was growing up in Georgia- because it was with Grandpa. His sweet and gentle spirit- yet strong and manly soul. He cooked steaks each year and tried to get us all “happy” with some famous egg nog. He took pride in the steaks he cooked, and he should have being that they were the best dang steaks I will ever have had. Hearing his deep voice and listening to him hum or whistle along to Nat King Cole in the perfectly vacuumed house and distinctly smelling home. We’d sit around his dining room table full of fancy tableware and wine glasses and yummy side dishes. Usually, I would end up laughing so hard at my brothers. And we would all listen to Pepaw tell his stories of history, ancestry, or someone he knew the other day at the store whose brother was his cousin. ha. I miss that. I miss hearing those stories as he picked his stubb of fingers. He was so cute with his rubbing of his eyes and taking off his glasses, even though I knew it was medically necessary since his eyes always bothered him. And he would scratch his head with his fingernail-less finger and start another story. Ah…anyway…all this to say, I am looking forward to the next couple days full of tradition, newer traditions, and a special visit from my dad, Gail, and my brothers and sisters on Christmas day. Merry Christmas to all! Love to you.

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