Everywhere you go, places are covered in Christmas. Sparkly decor, swaying ornaments, cinnamon scents, and melodic carols all flood your senses. It has been this way for over a month.
In three days, it will all be over. Christmas trees will come down. Ornaments will be wrapped carefully in bubble wrap and stored in boxes until next year. Twinkle lights won't twinkle anymore, holiday cookies and treats will be fully digested, and gift wrap will be 50% off at Walmart.
I find it interesting how society prepares for Christmas so far in advance, and in such a big way... the anticipation leading up this holiday every year is huge.
And then it's over.
Just like anything else in life you plan for... a party, a wedding, or a big event... it all eventually comes to a head. Yet with Christmas preparations, planning, and celebrating, I feel like a lot of it centers around Santa and gifts.
I realized this year that I never believed in Santa. I just never did. I was the 4th of 4 kids, and by then, the magic of playing up a pretend holiday character must not have appealed to my parents any longer. My mom promises that she talked about him and gave us each a present from "Santa" every year. And she probably did. But at the end of the day, my parents are the ones who received my Christmas list... not Santa. And my parents are the ones who bought me those gifts and gave them to me, I knew... not Santa. And the idea of Santa traveling all the way around the world and delivering gifts to me on Christmas Eve never seemed realistic to me. Not to mention, it was always my family's tradition to open gifts with each other on Christmas Eve. So that killed the whole "Santa" theory for me, anyway.
Believing in a fictional character like that must have never appealed to me. And the funny thing is, I am probably the most idealistic romantic out of the whole family. Out of anyone, I'm the one who is lost in thought, dreaming up something new, or 1,000 miles away in another world a lot of the time. So it's interesting that I never entertained the idea of Santa.
I'm not really heartbroken over this, either. I think Santa is great and all, but he's not my idea of quality time spent entertaining a child's imagination over. I'd much rather spend my kid's time talking about the real reason for Christmas, and Someone who IS real.
I'm not condemning belief in Santa. Trust me, I'm not. I think he's great.
From a Christian standpoint, though, I like to more so focus on Baby Jesus. Baby Jesus is born, eventually grows up, and teaches the world about sacrificial Love, displaying the ultimate example of it on the cross to save us from sins. This is our one true gift, the only gift we really need to find peace in life. No amount of Christmas presents from Santa will bring the sort of joy we can obtain by accepting the one Christ has to offer. Furthermore, Christmas is a great time to practice this sort of love... selfless, sacrificial love. God sent Jesus as our (ultimate) gift... how can we "gift" this love and joy to others during the season?
My Christmas season has been quite busy. My sister and her husband and 5 children moved into their new home within this past week. I helped baby-sit a couple of the days. Their new house is beautiful and will be perfect for their family that has done much growing over the past several years. Also this week, my "girl" friends and I had a great evening together eating Italian at a small local Italian restaurant, followed up by heart-to-hearts and dancing with "Just Dance II" on the Wii. Last night was our annual Kaiser extended family Christmas. We rented out the soccer forum, and it worked great for all the little kids to run around. Better that then someone's house. :)
I'm thankful for all these things and looking forward to a wonderful Christmas celebration with my family on Christmas day!
The pictures, although out of order, will help illustrate. :)
Silas, exhausted after a day of eating and watching Dora
Milo has the biggest blue eyes
All the girls
Around 2 pm, Silas and I were hungry for a snack so we each had a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios
The boys playing soccer at the Soccer Forum. My brother Tate has not lost his touch!
Just Dance II. Not sure what this move was.
Sweet moment-- Sylvie and her dad
Kelly and I
My Grandma K. saying hi to Milo
Naomi painted me a flower.
Love you all! T