Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Reflections

Another Christmas has come and gone, and I’m sitting at my dad’s transferring some of his legendary Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass albums to his iPhone (yes, my dad has an iPhone) and reflecting on my time with my ever growing family.

I did something this Christmas that I had never done before.  I left the house and served others.  I love coming together with family, exchanging gifts (and laughs), singing Christmas carols and, on this particular Christmas, watching snow fall, but this Christmas was really touching for me.

On Christmas Eve, we started a new tradition, and exchanged gifts on the night before Christmas.  Interestingly enough, I can remember lobbying for this tradition to begin when I was really little, but to no avail.  I had heard legends on the playground about other families who opened gifts on the night before Christmas, but not my family.  That changed this year, and it seemed more like an exchange of gifts in anticipation of something greater that was coming—the gift of the Incarnation.

As I went to bed that night, I realized that things were changing for me.  I would no longer be “just hanging out” on Christmas day with Dad and Becky, but when I awoke on Christmas day, I would be driving with my fiancée’s birthplace to spend time with even more of our family.  We arrived a little before noon at Lake Floyd, and completed our second gift exchange (also filled with laughter), and I hopped in the car with them to take part in a new tradition.  We served others. As I think about it, I may make this service a blog entry of it’s own.  It was pretty incredible, and something I think that might provide more depth and meaning to us on a holiday that has ever increasingly become about us and less about others.  More to come on that though.

So after a wonderful afternoon, we came back, cleaned up, and headed out to Jamie’s Uncle’s house for a Christmas potluck dinner of sorts.  The food was delicious, and Jamie has nine relativess who are under the age of thirteen, so it was a fun-filled and entertaining time interacting with everybody.  There was an assortment of fun from charades, jokes, story-telling, karaoke, great food, caroling and smiles all around.  As the evening wound down, we gathered together to listen to Jamie’’s cousin Oscar read the story of Christmas from the Bible.

When we parted from Uncle Joe's, we took her 80 year old grandma home, and sang Christmas carols with her and Jamie's parents as we made our way along the snow covered wonderland of Harrison County, West Virginia.

I’m grateful for the ever-expanding family I have been given on this earth, and for time I could spend with such wonderful people on the most wonder-filled holiday. Further, I'm grateful for a greater understanding of the wonderful mystery that is celebrated at Christmas.  So beautiful!

1 comment:

Alise said...

First, I love the new blog design. Sorry if I missed it before now!

And yes, I totally agree that having an expanding family can really bring a lot more to the Christmas dynamic. I look forward to hearing more about your serving opportunity.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!