I am reminded by Linus about the true meaning of Christmas. Of course, after a weekend of wonderful family, wonderful memories, and a wonderful mass this morning, I cannot help but thank the Lord for giving me such a wonderful life. Sitting and laughing with relatives all weekend, and then watching the pure joy of the children this morning, reminds me that I am blessed beyond measure. I have true and pure love present in my life, and isn’t that why Jesus came in the first place, to remind us that what really matters is LOVE?
With that being said, I was tickled pink to place the presents under the tree. I knew that when the girls awoke, we would have a wonderful morning of gifts and excitement. Unbeknownst to me that the “wonderful morning of gifts and excitement” would come at 3AM. Lizzie woke up the entire house, and as much as Tom tried to cajole the girls back into their beds for another four hours of sleep, I knew it was for naugt. They had seen the tree. Santa had already come. Presents abound with their names on them. I forced myself out of bed, and we did Christmas at 3AM. It was nothing less than magical.
The best gift of the wee hours of the morning was not something Santa’s elves conjured or bought from Macy’s or ToysrUs, it was a homemade gift I received from my oldest daughter, Carson. In all of her wisdom and ingenuity, she made “Carson bucks” and a “Spend chart,” and for the next month or two, Tom and I get chores for free and without complaint!
I think I spent a large portion of my life thinking that what someone spent mattered; now that I am a parent, I realize the thought, the heart, and the creativity blow any dollar amount out of the water!
After the wonderful middle of the night gift opening and some sleep for the parents, we went to mass. Wouldn’t you know, it was overcast and kind of miserable when mass started, but just as the congregation started to sing the opening song, (which I love to belt– it’s church, God doesn’t care how crappy of a voice I have) “Joy to the World,” the sun shined through the stain glass window and almost blinded us in our pew. I looked around the church, and no other stain glass window was illuminated as bright as ours. The pew in front of us, our pew, and the pew behind us were in direct warm light. I don’t care what you believe, but I believe God himself shined on us, and I was reminded how awesome my life is and how grateful I need to be! Of course, I also thought some of that sunshine was probably my parents, Tom’s dad, and my friend Kim’s mother and brother wishing us a Merry Christmas because they are always around us in spirit. (Kim was in the row behind us.)
I feel warm and happy. The greatest gift is not gold, frankincense, and Muir, it is feeling your heart swell because life is good and love abounds.
Merry Christmas Everyone!