Dec 25th
Merry Christmas!
I hope your Christmas has turned out to be as completely blessed as mine has been.  As the children have grown up, moved out and have made new traditions with their spouses and families, things have changed – like they always do in life.  That’s a little hard for the Mamas to take – as the empty nest tends to echo a bit louder at Christmas and other special holidays.  For me it is the loudest at Christmas. 
This year my daughter was scheduled to work until 8:00 on Christmas Eve, and it just wasn’t practical for her to leave work, go all the way home to get her hubby, then come all the way back to our house (a total drive time of about 3 hours or so), so they were going to come over today.  The same routine, just on Christmas Day instead of Christmas Eve.  Usually she and her husband come over, we all walk down to my parent’s house and visit there for awhile, then come back to our house to open our gifts to each other . . . with the evening ending up with my daughter sound asleep in her new pajamas while the rest of us visit.  My son has a new family, and with his job being in law enforcement, he can’t dictate when he has holidays off, and when he doesn’t.  We were supposed to see his family this upcoming Sunday.  I was settled with that thought and had my brain wrapped around it.  New plan in place.  Hubby and I were going to go down to my folks last night, enjoy snacks and game time, and today my daughter and her hubby would be here and we’d do all of our regular traditions.  Except NOTHING went as we thought.
Hubby and I got home from work early, got the last few late arriving gifts wrapped, stockings stuffed, a few extra cookies baked, and ready to go down to my parents.  My daughter had called me on Monday to let me know that her supervisor surprised her and told her she could have yesterday off, but don’t tell my Mom, it would be a surprise.  I was pretty excited because it meant we could have our regular Christmas Eve and I knew my parents would be really happy.  That wasn’t the only surprise though. . . Right before time to head down to my parents house hubby went to the door (he is such a good secret keeper!), opened it, and who walked in?  Not my daughter and her hubby – MY SON, HIS WIFE AND THEIR LITTLE BOY!  OH MY GOSH!  I cried.  More than once.  I was so happy! I’m still smiling!  (that means they traveled 3 hours to get here to spend about 4 hours, and turned around to drive the 3 hours home) Which means my Mom and Dad got an extra surprise!  The love and the laughter filled the house and I can’t even describe how full my heart was all evening.  Between the time spent at my parents, and the time spent here, it was so much fun! These memories will keep in my heart forever.  And for NEXT Christmas  . . . we’ll have a new baby to celebrate with, which will add to the joy.
After my son and his family left to head back home, my daughter and her hubby stayed for awhile longer.  We lit all the candles on the Advent Wreath, ending with the Jesus candle, we prayed together and read the scriptures for the birth of Christ together.  We laughed some more, had wonderful conversation and snacks, and as usual my daughter fell asleep in her new PJ’s, and ended up nearly sleep walking to the car . . . leaving at least one thing behind.  This time it was her shoes.  It wouldn’t be Christmas without that happening!
This morning we slept in, made our coffee, opened our presents slowly – appreciating the thought a love that went into each one – and now we’re getting ready to eat breakfast together.  I’m feeling blessed by God – He’s given me a wonderful husband, thoughtful and amazing kids, I have my parents nearby to love and appreciate.  It really doesn’t get much better than that.
Merry Christmas to everyone, and may the joy of the Lord fill your day and the coming year.  God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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