We Wish You a Merry Christmas…

I had started this post three times. The first was around when my cousin Caleb got back to the states after 6 months in Honduras. Something about that man-child I call cousin makes me sappy. Ray says its cause it makes me feel old. I say it’s because he was like the little brother I never had…and now he is man. Weird.

The second time was reflecting on holidays as a teenager…then my kids this year.

Then last Friday happened. Hearts broke, a nation continues to grieve with a town in Connecticut and time became more precious. Like many parents and likely a large percentage of our nations population, I bawled. Like quite a few parents, I heard the words “1st graders” and suddenly needed to hold my kids without delay. Cephas was only out of school 20 minutes early but I wasn’t missing that 20 minutes.

I decided to keep most of what I had written. The silly is still silly…and honestly, I cherish it a little bit more. We know that time is short. I’ve compiled a little list of what makes me smile this time of year…whether it be at others, my kids or the laughing I tend to do at myself.

I’d love to hear some of yours 🙂

My kids enjoy pretending regarding Santa. Sometimes, I wish they feared the imaginary ‘naughty and nice’ list.

That Elf on the Shelf thing scares the crap out of me. Much like that blessed list, I sometimes wish I could use that creepy doll as behavior leverage.

Don’t judge me.

My husband’s love for Christmas has grown. As has his tolerance for Christmas music. I love it!

It’s our 10th Christmas together…and 9th married. We are establishing our own family traditions. Have traditions that location and finances can’t touch.

I ask my kids on a very regular basis what Christmas is all about. Sometimes I’m proud, sometimes is a parental fail.

For every “I want to open a present” and bad attitude, my kids have a “what I’m thankful for” list. I’ve started adding to the list regarding what I am thankful for regarding my kids when I get aggravated and my southern accent gains strength. It’s good for all involved and keeps the accent at bay, saving it’s affects for when its necessary.

I miss my family this time of year. I’m grateful for every memory…
*no matter what, Mom made it special
*no matter what, Mom didn’t allow bratty behavior
*no matter what, Mom made sure we knew how blessed we were. We knew then. We know now.
*no matter what, Mom still does.
*My Aunt Sharon’s attention to detail. Her love for us and the ability to make everyone know how special they are to her. She still does.
*Christmas Eve – Aunt Sharon 🙂
*My Uncle Ron’s love for putting in false teeth and cracking cheesy jokes. He would go from that to busting out the guitar and reminding us why we celebrate. Forgetting has never been an option.
*Christmas morning…
*Christmas Day – Uncle Ronnie’s and everything my Aunt Brenda’s cooking (her cheese straws are a early childhood memory and adult craving)
*the smell of Rhonda’s house
*Matt’s “hey girls lets go to the movies”. It was always late. It was always action. It’s still a cherished memory. Fact – I haven’t seen a James Bond movie since I lived at home.
*My cousins were little once upon a time. No matter where they go and who they become, I know who they are to me 🙂 From Honduras, to Paris, high school and middle school football…I cherish these guys. Christmas time wouldn’t have held the same memories without their little faces.

This year smacks most people in the face with memories whether they be good or bad. I am grateful that mine are good. I am grateful for memories made and the ones we have yet to discover.

I love the memories we are making with our Revive Church family. I cannot wait for the backpack outreach and our Christmas Eve…eve service.

We all hug a little tighter this year. Memories are more precious and time more cherished.

I’d love to hear some of your Christmas favorites…

Dear Christmas Program Survivors…

Some of your kids shining moments are meant to be shared. Enjoy! Feel your sanity wash over you.

Tonight was Cephas’ school Christmas program. When it comes to anything involving music, Cephas tends to be a little bit of a hilarious and creative wild card. You sit and wonder what his reactions will be. Will he be the most animated kid up there? Will he be the loudest? Will he bust a move?

All of these are legitimate questions. There is a lot of history to back that up. A lot.

Tonight, Cephas was a gem. There was no crazy dance moves (don’t be disappointed, there is always next time…or cause he feels like it tomorrow) or other hilarious behavior. He sang his songs, sat quietly when they were done. At one point he seemed to be looking to see if he could find Sophia, Erica and I…but with the cutest look on his face. A gem.

Can you see the halo? I could. It shined and sat perfectly.

I failed to mention that Cephas was not the only child of mine present. One wore a halo, the other, my daughter, was shoe-less and at one point was sock free. She was rather vocal about it. How dare those pesky socks she has been wearing all day have a seam! Normally they are in cahoots. Tonight, Sophia shined brightly…all by herself.

I feel the need to tell these stories for all you parents out there who need reminded you aren’t alone. There was no explanation for her behavior. I was confused. I also about cried laughing. You know that “am I laughing or about to have a meltdown” laugh? That was me folks. I also kept joking about parents lining up to ask me for my secret to my mad parenting skillz. That’s right…with a Z!

At one point, I walked back inside the cafeteria both Sophia and I covered in leaves.

Leaves.

Her “I have to go potty” was an escape out the front door technique. Well played daughter, unfortunately for you, God gave me Cephas first. This momma knows how to run after her babies.

During ‘Oh Chanukah’, she loudly asked why they weren’t singing ‘Rudolph’. We are so cultured. She also enjoyed sitting with her ears plugged. Apparently it causes a fun reverb when you loudly say “Hello! This is too loud”!
Another song mentioned a “fat goose”. Her response to this had me crying laughing…cause what else do you do. A 4yr old cackling and rocking back and forth singing “fat goose” is funny no matter who you are. She also managed to fall on the floor during this case of the giggles.

Leaving was interesting too.

So, dear survivors of your kids Christmas program. You are survivors. Congratulations. Parenting doesn’t come with medals and trophies but if it did, such things should come with one pre-packaged for the adventurous afternoons that scream “you are gonna need this later”. You are appreciated, you are good at loving your kids and what you do does matter.

And to all a goodnight.

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