We're celebrating our first Christmas tomorrow. "We" as in me and Paul.

We've been sharing tales of Christmases past doing our best to morph them into something that is our own. Paul has been exploring traditions of Santa and the Christian meaning. I am trying to break free from the notion that Santa gifts are left unwrapped, fresh out of the red velvet bag, under the tree. Paul grew up with wrapped Santa gifts. The Santa that came to my childhood house was in a hurry, and probably pretty tired, so the gifts were just left as is.

Christmas seems to give a different lesson every year, no matter what your age. It's a time of remembrance, reflection, and restoration (I love alliteration!).

  • The faces, smiles, hugs, and laughs of loved ones.
  • What it was like to be a kid at Christmas.
  • Shaking gifts without breaking them trying to guess the surprise.
  • Not sleeping very well.
  • Different dishes that remind of us of relatives. (Aunt Mischelle's taco mound; Uncle Charles' fruitcake; Aunt Connie's broccoli casserole)

  • Thinking about what went right and wrong with past Christmases.
  • Gleaning out the truly important parts of the past.
  • Confessing my past attitudes on unmet expectations.
  • Reading the story of the birth of Christ in Luke.

  • Leaving behind grievances.
  • Looking ahead to new beginnings represented by the hope of baby Jesus.
  • Accepting Christmas as a gift not of just presents and the presence of people, but as a symbol of God's ultimate gift of the sacrifice of His son.

Merry Christmas. And God bless us,  every one!