You know sometimes I take for granted how lucky I am. I get to manage my own time for the most part, I get to chat with friends from all over without feeling like I shouldn't be, I get to wear pj's most of the day if I want. But this morning I realized yet another blessing. A friend of mine told me that they don't celebrate Christmas at their place of employment. They celebrate other religious holidays or they celebrate mythical holidays but they don't celebrate Christmas. They do get time off for Christmas or "the winter holidays" to celebrate with family and friends as they choose to, I guess that's all that matters. Still, it seems rather "grinchish" to me. No secret santa's, no decking the halls...
Here in my little world of my home we do an advent calender everyday as a count down to Christmas, we decorate, we make gingerbread houses, and presents and make secret plans to find just the right thing for daddy. It's not as much this year as in previous years because I'm on a no sugar diet so we've nixed the Christmas cookie baking and fudge making here at home. Honestly I don't do as many things as I want to do, and I tend to get too focused on getting the next thing on my holiday to do list checked off. Like "look at Christmas lights- check. Decorate tree- check. Talk about meaning of Christmas-check. Play Christmas music-check. Get holiday photo taken- check". Did you catch how easily the true meaning of Christmas gets bundled up with everything else? This year we're going to have a Christmas morning Birthday Party for Jesus. It's something I think of doing every year but gets a little lost. One year we did do a pan of caramel rolls and put birthday candles in it. Guess what happens to wax candles stuck into hot caramel rolls fresh out of the oven? Fortunately the wax cools fairly quickly and you can pick it right off the top of the rolls. This year I'm committed though.
All because when I was volunteering in Jasper's class last week I heard the teacher ask the kids what they thought Jesus wanted for his birthday. One kid said "toys!" and the teacher gently said "I don't know if Jesus really plays with toys up in heaven." Another said "a birthday party!" To which my son chimed in and said his family was going to have a birthday party for Jesus at his Grandpa and Grandma's this year. And just like that he unknowingly committed me to it. There is no way I'm going to let this opportunity slide- especially knowing that he's looking forward to it. The next little answer I heard though completely made me break down as one little girl raised her hand and said "Me!". They all got it then- Jesus wants them for a birthday present and they all jumped on the bandwagon. I'm crying now as I remember it. How sweet it was to hear a class of Kindergarteners all offer themselves to Jesus for his birthday.
So this year, I plan to be joyful- and grateful. For not only can I celebrate Christmas the way I want, but I can enjoy seeing my son turn away from the stocking and towards the star. Such a wonderful wonderful gift.
But I'd like to know: How do you celebrate Christmas? Is there a special tradition that your family has, or is there a new one you're planning on adding this year? I'd love to hear!