Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Gratitude

This holiday went pretty well. There were some snafus and some tears, and many teachable moments (for both children and adults), but our Christmas was mostly smiles. We have had some rough Christmases before, with Rich working, trips to the hospital, heartbreak and sickness. I remember them vividly, and the feelings of despair that such a magical time of year was stained with sadness. This year: we were all together, mostly healthy, we ate well, we laughed a lot, we shared in all the good things happening in our lives, and we were all wrapped up in the magic of celebrating Christmas with children.

I feel like I made the best of the moments I shared, and took extra pleasure in the moments I enjoyed by myself. I hope I always remember Abby's wonder on Christmas morning at seeing that Santa had eaten the cookies she had left him. I hope the girls enjoy many adventures wearing the dragon tails he brought them Christmas morning. I hope the peace and quiet that comes with four little girls all playing nicely with new toys lasts into the next winter months. I hope the snow returns, so it feels more like winter outside!

Christmas decorations have been tucked away for another year, and we are lighting candles until we ring in a new year, full of new life and new promise.  I am hoping to get the girls out for a hike this week, to investigate the changing landscape of the season. 

We are all enjoying the great bounty of blessings, because indeed, the true secret to happiness (both the big kind and the small) is in being grateful. This year, I dropped off our family's Christmas hamper at the emergency food cupboard, and I was so humbled. I drove home crying, really letting it all out, because I felt so lucky. I had been complaining about having to make a $1000 truck repair the weeks before Christmas, and lamenting that building our savings account seems like an impossible mountain to climb when surprises keep coming up and emptying it. But that trip to the food cupboard reminded me that I do not struggle. I can feed my four little girls. There is no chaos wondering about where next meals will come from. Our family is safe, we are warm, we are comforted by what we have and we do what we can to help. I have spent many nights wishing we could have given more. 

As a new year approaches, I hope you call it forth with hope, excitement, happiness and someone special.

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