Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!.


Well friends, it is Christmas Eve and the day is almost here that we have been shopping, baking, crafting, and hopefully reflecting on.  It is time for family, friends, food and presents! It should also be a time of worship and reflection.  A time of celebration and thanksgiving. A time of love and peace.  A time filled with the love of Christ.  

As I sit here I am reminded of Christmases past, and think about our Christmas traditions. Almost every family has them, those special things we do every year around the holidays that our family looks forward too. Whether your holiday tradition it is taking the kids to cut down the family tree, seeing Santa in the parade, or reading the Christmas story on Christmas Eve., they become treasured times with our friends and family that are etched in our memories forever.  

We have a few of those in our home, some have morphed a little since the kids are adults now, but even at that, some have stayed the same.  I am sure that my kids will create some of these for their own families someday, along with some of their own, and as our family grows we will need to be flexible and create new "traditions".  

One of our favorite things to do when the kids were younger was to make a Gingerbread house together.  I used to make a form by hot gluing a cardboard box in a house shape and then hot gluing graham crackers on the outside, sometimes it was pretty big!  We never ate the house we just used it as a decoration, but we had fun decorating it together.  With a little royal icing, and some candy set out in little bowls in the center of table we went to town decorating our own little Christmas masterpiece!  I am looking forward to doing this again someday with my grand kids!

On Christmas Eve., we celebrate with my side of the family, usually at my Mom's house early in the day, so the evening we are free to do our own thing.  We usually plan on going to one of our Christmas Eve. services at church either they have 3 4pm, 7pm or the 11pm candlelight service together as a family.  It is a beautiful, peaceful time to really reflect on the reason we celebrate, and puts Christ in the center of our Celebration were he needs to be. The music, the message, and gathering with family and friends is a wonderful time to relax and really soak in the love and the message of the season. 

When we come home from church, we get out some holiday appetizers and snacks we gather around the Christmas tree and let our kids open up a few gifts. These gifts are the same every year, and even as adults it is fun to carry on this tradition.

They each get some new PJ's that they usually put right on, and then they get to open a family gift which is usually a family Christmas movie that we can watch, or a game that we can play together.  Even though they know what the gifts are going to be I think there is something comforting and special about continuing traditions, and making those memories together.

This year will be a special time for us because Jessy's boyfriend Justin is the worship leader at Woodside church in Farmington. This year instead of going to our own church for the Christmas Eve. service, we will go to theirs because they will both be doing the music at the service. This should be a relaxing time of music, worship, prayer, and reflection together and we are really looking forward to it! Justin's family lives in California, and he won't be flying out to see them until later on Christmas Day, so we are excited that he will be able to join us in celebrating this year (I hope he likes his new jammies)! 

My prayer for you is that you are able to relax and enjoy this special time with your family and friends and enjoy your own family traditions and celebrations. If you don't have any special traditions, try creating some, you will be making memories that will be passed down for generations. 

If you have trusted in the One that was born in the manger so many years ago, my hope for you as you celebrate our Saviors birth this Christmas, is that you may experience the peace and love that the season offers you. If you have not trusted in Him, my prayer for you is that you listen to what he has to offer... it is the greatest gift you will ever receive!

May the light of the manger, be with you all year. Many Christmas blessings from our family to yours.

Peace and Love,
Sandy