Christmas 2020

This Christmas Molly decided that we should not wake up Christmas morning and do our usual opening of stockings, breakfast and then gifts from under the tree. She thought that Christmas afternoon can be depressing once everything is over. She thought we should sleep as late as we wanted, wake up slowly, have breakfast, open stockings, play a game, work on the puzzle, take a nap, prepare for dinner, and then after dinner she thought it would be a good time to open presents.

Molly and Ruby and Josh were immediately on board with the idea. Mack and I, however, were unsure. Him, because he loves gifts. Me, because we’d have to endure Mack’s complaining if we put off opening gifts.

In the end, he agreed—after getting to open a very small gift in exchange for no complaining. He definitely didn’t NOT complain, but it was much less than I thought. And we actually all enjoyed the day together and really liked opening the gifts Christmas night.

Now, I’m not saying this is what we will do every Christmas, but this year it worked for us.

Ruby got her new phone she asked for. Mack got new airpods and her old phone with access to music and texting—not a number or internet. Molly’s main gift was a violin. A couple of weeks ago a neighbor mentioned she was giving away a cello she had in her attic, so I went to her house and got that also for Molly! She was thrilled and has already begun screeching around on the new instruments.

Josh got an air rifle for pesky varmints in the backyard. And some new shoes. I got new sunglasses and coffee bean grinder and some workout clothes (of which I really need to use after this crazy year and food-filled holiday)!

There were other fun gifts exchanged, and I’m so glad we had this day together. The food was amazing. Smoked prime rib, twice baked potatoes and salad. Delicious!

And yet, by now the leftovers are in the fridge. The gifts are all in their places, empty boxes and balled up wrapping paper fill the trash cans, bellies will be hungry again tomorrow and gifts soon lose their luster—no matter how badly they were desired just days ago. And visiting family members may be beginning to wear out their welcome. It is critical that none of these parts of Christmas take center stage.

I am grateful beyond words for the truth of Immanuel, God with us. I wouldn’t want to know what would have come of me by now if not for Him being with me. He makes Christmas. He is the greatest gift ever given. Let Him be to you all that He promises He will be. He won’t lose His luster. He satisfies like nothing and no one else. He’s the gift that keeps on giving. His goodness and faithfulness and kindness and mercy and grace never run out. He is our Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father…today and every day! Merry Christmas!

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