“Christmas is here!”

That’s how my littlest girl greeted her Daddy when he walked in the door this evening. And she called to him to “Come! Come!” to see the decorations and our slightly off-kilter tree…that,

no matter,

to my sweet brood, is perfectly enchanting.

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Her first, quiet, approach. She came down from her nap to “Christmas!”

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We knew she would love our beloved Puzzle Nativity book and, indeed, she found it right away.

My oldest son unpacked beloved Christmas Picture books and stacked them in our baskets, remarking that it was like visiting with old friends. Kindred heart.

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My little blondie girl asked me over and over again if “Christmas would still be here when she woke up from her nap” until I pulled her onto my lap and stroked her hair and quietly told her in specific detail that our tree would be up until after New Year’s and explained again all I tried to tell her every time she asked in the midst of everything. Then she was satisfied.

Today, I baked my first batch of Christmas cookies. I invited my four year old twins to join me. Never was there such a joyous exclamation of glee and delight as chirruped out from those two little girls. I have been making cookies for a long time with my children and they were the most delightedly excited of all.

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Glee!

 

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Almost daily, my heart is full with the incredible blessing of these two girlies. Psalm 37:4

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Cookie Making!

I left the house for a brief outing with Todd this evening, and a little boy stopped me at the door overflowing with excitement and whispered to me: Could I help him make cards for everyone and write a Christmas song for him (his words) on the back and he will put them on everyone’s pillow for them to find tomorrow night?!? To which I said, of course, but suggested perhaps, he break up the work load and work on them little by little for a few days. He thrilled in excitement and delight, He squeaked with happiness. The thought of everyone finding a surprise on their pillow! Eyes aglow. Grin wide. Yes, it is more blessed to give than to receive!

My second born put almost all the Christmas candles in the windows. He always, always places the cardinals, too. Such symbols of hope, of joy, of bright gladness, and red redemption.

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He loves the cardinals as much as I

Today also, my oldest girl, got the all clear on her throat. We have all been- well, mainly her and I, dealing with this heavy burden and concern and the relief of the all clear! And she jumped and squealed in delight in total girlish happy relief. Raced up the stairs and gathered her two favorite friends from her bed…and then off to the piano- and never was there such joyous piano practice as sprung from those keys as today.

My tall son played in his first home Varsity basketball game tonight. I got to see some video clips. He was put in twice and he was giving it his all. He is the sub for the biggest player on the team. A senior. When he arrived home, I heard his Dad giving him some good tips toward the game and my eyes misted. Good, good stuff.

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Varsity Basketball. This image is from last week but he went off in this today. Albeit with a straighter tie. It took he and I a bit to get the swing of it with Dad’s “long distance” help.

Grace in A Monday. Endless Gifts. Christmas in my heart. Advent. Christmas with Children. Building a Heritage. Season of Anticipation.

We began our Advent celebrations on Sunday and I keep having to fight this “old” feeling. This feeling of being old and on the other side of establishing traditions. It is so not true for so many reasons. But I feel that I need a reminder and a fresh whiff of life and grace.

How are you beginning to “keep Christmas” this year?