My mom-in-law is the source of one of my favorite holiday traditions that I’ve enjoyed since Neil and I got married almost 16 years ago. This is saying something, because as you know by now I love me a good holiday tradition. Every day in December, starting with the 1st and going until the 25th, she emails a Christmas story to everyone on her list. Some are hilarious and some make me cry. Yesterday’s story made me think about something in a new light. The author called our attention to December 26th and how important it is that we not put the Savior away with the decorations. On December the 26th we should have let the celebration of His birth and beginning of His life change us somehow so that December 26th is a new start for us, even before we get to the official new year. I wish I could say that today was epic in some way or that I’m a new person. I’m not really and it wasn’t. But I am a little more aware of what every Christmas is actually about and how it should really feel. I’m calling that deepening awareness a win.
Our Christmas was lovely and unique. While most people experienced less family togetherness, we actually saw our immediate, small extended family circle a little bit more because we weren’t stretching across the whole extended family circle. We missed the cousins and aunts and uncles. We took things slower and simpler. There was the normal Sunday dinner (with the addition of the three aunts), Mom’s “Christmas Eve Dinner” at her house (because tradition runs deep in this family), Christmas Eve with grandparents and aunts at our house, and Christmas Day brunch at one grandma’s house followed by dinner at the other grandma’s. I won’t drag this out with explanations of each picture or event. It is enough to say that these are my some of my favorite moments among many. With the funerals of three of the most influential and paramount people in my life looming in the next few years, I’m savoring these moments with that awareness I mentioned. Not that it increases the serious factor…like, at all. I’m looking at you troll apology video and Layna princess hands. It’s like one of my favorite quotes: life does not cease to be serious when people laugh any more than it ceases to be funny when people die - George Bernard Shaw. It just goes, and I love it.
Tomorrow we’ll have cake and ice cream from Naomi and Laynas’ presents from Santa (respectively). We’ll gear up for the last big hurrah of the year (we are blowing stuff up and staying awake till midnight fueled by root beer and nachos. It’s a bona fide hurrah). And we’ll start another year. Hopefully I can have more moments where I’m aware of my Savior’s gift to me. More moments that make me laugh and cry, and more moments to share with you.