I realized today that this is our tenth Christmas as parents, and I think I might need another decade for that to sink in! Where did the time go? It has absolutely vanished…at lightning speed. I also realized today that I am a slow learner because I think I am only now just getting the hang of this “Chirstmas parent” gig. This has been the year I have finally given up any chasing after an elusive Christmas fantasy, longing for the Christmases of my childhood. That “magic” is gone, and I am finally okay with that! I am thankful for all those wonderful memories and emotions of bygone Christmases, but I’m ready to embrace what Christmas is here and now!
Our family’s Christmas traditions might not match exactly those of my childhood, but they are ours! I can’t make my Mom’s fruitcake (yet), but my kids feel like it’s finally Christmas when our first batch of candy cane popcorn is pulled out of the freezer. I may have given up homemade waffles and overnight casseroles for Christmas Day breakfasts, but wrapping up a box of favourite cereal for each of the kids to open with their stocking stuffers is much more doable. And, to be honest, makes for a more exciting breakfast for the kids. And here and now, as a Christmas parent, it’s their excitement and joy that fuels my own.
One cherished tradition, a lifelong constant, that is very near the top of my list of favourites would have to be worshipping with our church family on Christmas Eve. Last night was no exception. Our church family is a relatively small one so when the congregation doubles on Christmas Eve you can feel the energy and excitement. There is something so special about extended families and friends and neighbours joining together to wish Jesus a Happy Birthday. Even though the responsibility of planning the worship experience on that holy night weighs heavy on me, the execution is always exhilarating. I love the carols, the smiles of the children, the hundreds of tiny candles piercing the darkness as we sing Silent Night! Holy Night! So Merry Christmas to all you Christmas kids and Christmas parents out there! I pray that today you have experienced the joy of cherished memories and embraced the memory-making of the here and now!