I failed at blogging the past few weeks. Big fat ‘F’. I got caught up in our trip to New York, and then even more so in celebrating Christmas once we returned that I completely missed my baby gift list and other posts that I had planned in my head. I am sure that you all survived sufficiently despite my technology vacation.
I’ve spent a lot of the past year diving deeper into my relationship with Christ, and I carried that mindset into my Christmas celebrations this year. (I can bare my soul, right? I think that it’s allowed at Christmas time…) I always had wonderfully blessed Christmas mornings growing up, but the more that you acquire, the greedier you seem to become. It is a painful fact to admit. I can still remember Christmases just a few years ago while I was in high school and college, where I opened 15 presents, most from a wish list that I compiled, and once I had opened the last one, felt a ping of sorrow that that was all. I was extremely grateful, but the more I got, the more I wanted. My parents went above and beyond, and I cringe thinking about the amount of hard earned money they spent trying to make us feel special. As a parent now, I can foresee how easy it could be to overbuy, wanting to make sure your little has everything that they could possibly want. In the spirit of what Christmas is truly about however, I wanted things to be a little different this year. I didn’t want gifts to get in the way of my true Christmas celebration. Everyone willingly obliged, and our celebrations went a bit differently than normal. A lot less gifts, and a lot more praise, clearer vision to see Jesus in his ethereal beauty instead of name tags and wrapping paper. I had more time to give thanks for every blessing showered upon me and more time to feel pain for those who want and need, and remain neglected. There was more beauty in this Christmas than in any other, I gave things baked with sugar and sprinkles and love to those that warm my heart, and while I baked I felt the Christmas spirit all around me, I felt as if I was preparing for a party, a birthday party, to celebrate a life, a life like no other, the life of Jesus. I finally saw Christmas for what it truly is. I thought back to Hattie’s first birthday party, and how every second of preparation reminded me that we had conceived, and nourished a miracle, and that she was born, and she was alive and growing. That’s what birthdays are for. To remind us. My mind would wander to Mother Mary, and how she must have felt preparing for Jesus’s birthday celebrations. A bit less extravagant to those of today’s celebrations, but none the less, a celebration of his life. Of his birth, in that drafty little manger. What a joy she must have felt in her heart! As a mother, Christmas felt different. It felt…even more magical than before. Jesus was conceived and nourished. He was born, he grew, and he is alive, and like Mary did so many times before, I joined her this year in preparation to celebrate a life that was lived and a life that was taken, so that I could sit in my kitchen and bake and kiss my baby with flour all over my apron. A life that existed so that I could live.
Happy Birthday Jesus. Yours is my favorite birthday of them all.
-More to come on our celebrations. Enjoy our Christmas Card pics and outtakes. I wish I could have sent one to every single one of you! This will have to do!