Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas day

My goodness, it is Epiphany and I am only now blogging about Christmas day!!   Sheesh, I have some serious catching up to do.

Today at our Youth World meeting we had a worship time and talked about Epiphany (I must at this point tell you that it was all in Spanish and I understood about 95% of what was said.... that was an epiphany within itself.  It helps that I knew the topic....).  
We had time to thinking about how we are (or aren't) doing what the wise men did - looking for Christ and giving Him gifts.  We talked in our small group how the wise men/kings travelled for so long to find this King - knowing He was so very important and worth the possible two years of travel.  They knew He was more than worth the valuable gifts they brought Him.
The thing that kept coming to me during my time alone was the singular focus they had - traveling for that long, under probably some miserable conditions (especially when they didn't go back to Herod after they saw Christ... they could have been in danger.... that is just my thinking....) - all kinds of weather, etc.  They went through a lot - they must have known how important this was.  
I know how important This is but I am so not singularly focused.  I want to be.
One of the other things I kept thinking was how, when they finally arrived and met Jesus (probably not still a baby in a manger but living in humble conditions, nonetheless) they still believed in the truth of who He was, in the value of their journey and in the importance of Him.  I don't know if they were shocked that they were led to a baby or young child.  I don't know if they were shocked that they were led to a humble home of a non-wealthy family.  I don't know if they were shocked that they were led to a person who seemed average if not lowly.  But they did give their gifts.  They did choose to protect Him from Herod by not going back to him.  And they did worship Him.  They definitely worshiped.
These very wealthy, wise, powerful men were singularly focussed.  They were humble that in all their personal wealth and wisdom, they still knew the truth of Power, Wealth and Wisdom in the face of a poor, average child.  Indeed, their wisdom was real; wisdom to see that even though things don't look as they may have expected, truth is still Truth.  
The humble Child was truly The King.
I have much to learn.

Christmas morning at our house.....

The kids had of course already gone through their stockings by the time Eric and I were up but since we hadn't seen (wink, wink) what was in their stockings.... they showed us.  They each got some good old American candy....
Cade got some spy "eyes in the back of your head" glasses.
Mia got Uno cards - that I think still have not been played with.  That is pathetic of us!
Lucy and Mia also got a Littlest Pet Shop animal, Maddy got a nice razor (Venus or something) with disposable blades (hey, she liked it!) and I forget what else was all in there.  The down fall of waiting so long to write about it combined with my pathetic memory.....
Then the kids got a combined Santa gift of a Wii fit.  They had played with it this summer at Uncle Chris and Auntie Val's, so we knew Santa knew it would be a hit.  Plus they get some indoor exercise.  Win-win.
Then they opened their gifts from each other.  Maddy got a cool hat, or bowl, rather, from Cade.  Mia got Pet Shops from Lucy.
Cade got lego from Mia and Lucy got a pillow pet - a fluffy pink unicorn (just like what's-her-face on Despicable Me).  Lucy was rather excited.
As soon as she opened it up, she jumped up and started running and screaming.  She ran around our "loop" - dining room, pantry, living room - three times before she finally sat down again and gave Maddy a huge hug.
Then the kids opened their gifts from us.  A bible and lego for Cade - thrilled!

Books, clothes and the like for Mia.  Pet Shops, clothes and a bible for Lucy.   And clothes, makeup and an itunes gift card for Maddy.  Of course there was plenty of carnage:
Mia got Christmas pjs which were much too big for her but she loves them anyway.
After presents, Lucy helped me with some artwork while we waited for our breakfast to finish baking.
Cinnamon buns, a bacon and egg casserole and hot chocolate with peppermint marshmallows.
We watched The Nativity Story again while eating brunch/breakfast.
Maddy and Lucy also took out their braids.  They're pretty cute.
Then it was time to get ready for our company.  Thirty nine people over for Christmas dinner!

Jake took on the daunting task of carving two turkeys.
Everyone else took on the daunting task of eating all the good food!  Well, okay, Jake did that too.
The menu:
Tassys - Turkey number one; mashed potatoes and some gingerbread cookies
Ackermanns - Turkey number two and gravy
Jensens - stuffing (which Marlo unfortunately smashed into the wall of her house, broke her crock pot and lost a good portion of....) and carrot soufflé
Bryans - green bean casserole and cookies
Browns - cranberry sauce and drinks
Altlands - corn casserole and Jesus birthday cake
Reicherts - artichoke dip and I forget what else
Ricky, Ashley (engaged) and Nancy (Ricky's mom) - plastic dinnerware and napkins
Christy - some yummy appetizer of which I don't know the name
The kids ate on the roof - it was a gorgeous day.
After the food settled for a while, we had to introduce more people to the Canadian unwrapping game.  First the adults - they took a little while to get into it..... but once they did, there was no turning back.

Then the kids.  After they had watched the adults they were either terrified or completely pumped to play!

Since we didn't know the gender of the winners and we wanted something less generic than candy, we put plastic balls in the gifts.  Each package had three balls with numbers on them.  The winners got to choose their gift from a table full of options.

It paid to have a nice stash of good gifts!  
Then we had Jesus birthday cake and other desserts.
When everyone left, they got some fudge:  white chocolate with dried cherry and toasted pistachio and chocolate with crushed candy cane.
It was a great time.  While it can never replace our actual families, these people are like family.  We are so thankful to have wonderful friends with whom to celebrate.  I can't get over how blessed we are.
And to round out the evening, I'll just show you a few pictures of last minute decorations I made - all from stuff I had around the house.... love that kind of decorating!
Juice bottles glittered with words:

Scrap piece of wood painted and glittered as well:
Garlands made from paint chips.
And a snowy scene made with random jars, pillow fluff, pine cones, junky ornaments and three little birdhouses I had kicking around:

Fun, festive and cheap!  Just the way I like it.

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