Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I had a grand plan for this evening.  Christmas Eve was to be a super tradition setter!  We would set out for the Christmas Eve service at church prepared with a wrapped box of brand-new jammies for the kids to open afterward.  Then we'd drive around the city, looking at Christmas lights and sipping pre-made hot chocolate carried in a thermos.  Genius, right?  

Here's the embarrassing part.  

Last night, while we talked through plans for the day, a few things hit me right between the eyes.  

1. The service starts at 6:30.  We'd have to leave here at 5:30.  We'd have to eat dinner at 4:30.  

2. Ryan isn't used to going to church on Monday, or at night. 

3. The service was to be quite different than the kids are used to.  

The one wasn't a big deal.  The first one could be overcome easily enough as well.  It's that middle one that was the killer. 

Yes, I could have gone to the service.  It could have gone badly.  It could have gone well.  And if you're around this blog much, you know it wouldn't be my first up-in-flames, wheels-completely-off experience.  And I know that if it had gone badly, the family and the church family would have been supportive.  

And yet, it's 7:30 and I write this from my kitchen with "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"... the original animated one... in the background.  

This time, we had to decide between good and best.  

Don't get me wrong.  I know I would have enjoyed it, and I was really looking forward to the service and the following fun.  But what I hadn't considered is time for this:

And some of this:

And this:

We watched movies, visited, played, laughed, prayed, and celebrated Jesus and the wonderful freedom he gives us.  We celebrated the covering of our sins, the thankfulness we have for the ultimate gift, and the gift of each other.  We celebrated the gift of the past by sharing memories.  

We celebrated by making new ones.  

As you settle in with cookies for Santa, your reading from Luke 2, or whatever you wish... remember that it's about Jesus... and that his love is more than enough to cover all the things we just can't do.  

Even when it's staying home because the thought of your son melting down in a flurry of torturous confusion was too much for your heart. 

Merry Christmas from Eric, Crystal, Ryan, Richie, Maelynn, Jedi, and Diamond!  Sleep well, our friends, and be safe.  Taste the moments... savor them... and thank God for every one. 


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