Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

all of our children finally home for Christmas

The picture above is funny to me because the perspective makes it appear that Isabel is a giant and her siblings are "photoshopped" in miniature behind her. When really it was just one last Christmas cookie before bedtime for the whole gang! :)


What a blessed relief it is this year to have all of my children home. More than any other holiday or birthday this year, Christmas has truly unlocked my gratitude for this wonderful gift.

Tonight as our family once again gathered on a blanket spread out on the sand after dark, I was reminded of the disappointment I carried last year knowing that my Haitian sons were still not home and unsure of when they would be. Yet this year they were snuggled on our laps or squished between siblings as the seven of us sang Christmas carols into the night air with the mighty crashing waves and the cries of seagulls as our background music. Alec belted out the notes with gusto while Ian was unusually calm and watchful through it all.

Earlier this evening, the little boys scampered around us as our family headed to the homes of neighbors to deliver homemade cookies on a Christmas plate in keeping with yet another Christmas tradition. They eagerly gave hugs around the knees of the adults we encountered, inevitably bringing a smile to each face and adding a spark of Christmas cheer to the atmosphere. Meanwhile our bigger kids were friendly and polite, greeting each neighbor with a smile and a kiss (as per Chilean custom) before heading off to play with the family's children or pets (whichever the case might be.)

So tonight as we tidy the house and spread out some gifts, as Pedro sets up new gadgets and I think about how I should be preparing tomorrow's breakfast casseroles, and as we anticipate the smiles of pajama-clad children come morning, I am thankful.

I am thankful for the Savior who was sent one Christmas Eve to spread hope and life to all who believe.

I am thankful for the season set aside to celebrate the gift of His coming, and the gifts of family and friendships as well.

I am thankful for what tomorrow holds ... and for the One who holds tomorrow!

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