Christmas Eve.

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It’s all drawing to a close. Like the end of summer, I will the season to last longer. Yet, I know what often makes something special is the absence of it. I love the seasons and the fresh perspective that each season brings to my life. I don’t want sunshine 365 days a year, and I don’t want glitter and Christmas melodies 365 days a year. With both sunshine and Christmas, I mourn the loss, yet adjust quickly, and by the time each is in sight again, I find myself gleeful with delight and embracing it all over again. There are aspects of Christmas I dislike. But the sparkle and music are in full force in my life at the holidays. Couple that with the sobering reminder that Jesus is God’s son, and that his birth brought hope to a broken world. There have been times when those two awesome components couldn’t rouse me into merry making. But this year, I enjoyed fun time merry making and my heart overflowed with joy at the thought of Jesus’ birth and his impact on our broken world.

Our Christmas cards aren’t yet finished. They’ll go out between Christmas and New Year’s.  I’ve done something unique with my (our) Christmas cards since I was a young adult. Each year as the mom demands got greater, I would toy with the idea of not doing a card. But old habits die hard. I’m still not sure what I’m doing, but I’ve invested enough time into them that I’ll finish them some how, some way…it may have to be minus my printer… we will see.

The season brought our house to a place of home. When the decorations come down, I hope I still like it.  Christmas decorations have a way of camouflaging the flaws in a home.  With the decorations up and the living portions of our home feeling cozy, we had a few friends over.  I got to use my kitchen to cook, not just put together food, and I loved it!  I was just glad it gets dark about 4pm.  No one could see the yard that so desperately needs improvements.

Today was a bit of a scramble as I made Chex Mix goodie bags for neighbors and friends.  I always start that piece of Christmas giving later than I’d like. Ultimately, we made it to our church’s 2pm Christmas Eve candle light service.

I love our Christmas eve services at Beaverton Foursquare.IMG_9396

As I sing and listen, I wonder how I can say “Thank You” enough to the producers of this particular service. It’s engaging, entertaining, and edifying in the deepest sense. It brings me to a place of gratitude for this day because of what Jesus means to us. We end it with about 1200 people holding lighted candles, and our Pastor reminds us to be the light of the world, and we all, in that moment, believe that we are the light of the world, and that we will carry our light with us where ever we are throughout the year.  In a world of darkness, that is no easy task, and I appreciate being emboldened for such an endeavor.

A good friend joined us today. She doesn’t attend our church, and to have her beside me and share what Jesus means to me was intimate, and a gift unto itself. It was a shared memory that I will treasure.

Afterward, the kids and I delivered some of the goodie bags I’d scrambled to prepare earlier in the day. Then I took them to the Ringside Fish House for a special dinner to celebrate Christmas eve, and to celebrate my new job. It was a big deal night. We had great food with great atmosphere. I did ask to be moved from a back corner.  I’d been told the extra room that they were seating in was going to be nicely decorated, but when they seated us, my heart sank as I looked at the four bare walls.  I couldn’t stand to spend our Christmas eve night in an atmosphere that didn’t shout Christmas.  The hostess accommodated us, and all was good. Although, I feel badly for whomever got placed where we left.

We came home, opened PJ gifts, and settled in with “It’s a Wonderful Life” and some of the goodies we’ve been getting from friends. We all fell asleep early and decided to get to bed, and that’s where I am right now.  It’s our first year where we didn’t read “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Things are changing, but I’m satisfied nonetheless.

I will get up early to fill stockings and then make a new recipe from Yummly called Cinnamon Roll Pizza.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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