My Mom delighted in extending Christmas joy by taking my kids shopping for their Christmas presents after the holidays. They loved the extra one-on-one time with grandma and spending the day together. I say that the greatest compliment when someone has a brilliant idea is to adopt it! So this year, for Christmas each of the grands got a small gift and a gift certificate with a designated amount to spend on their day with grandma!
I didn’t think I would get an education and a blessing from my littles, but I did! I guess the new term is “stuffies,” the bigger the better. You don’t just tuck them under your arm, you lay on them, carry them on your shoulders and snuggle with them. We even took one of them to the movies! No extra ticket required. There is nothing more comforting than a stuffy. They gloried in their giant beasts, and I reveled in watching them enjoy them. The whole experience warmed my heart.
I must admit, this New Years was a bit rough. My 90-year-old father passed into his heavenly home. However, I was gifted with a new pleasure, that of snuggling with my grands and their “stuffies.” I might just need to go get one of my own. I rather missed them after they went home. I contemplated the puppy, but prefer for the less time consuming option for now. Stuffies, a beautiful way to receive healthy comfort when missing loved ones, young and old.
What a joy this year to have four generations in our home over the holidays! It had been eight years since we had all of our children together, under one roof, coming from near and far.
I have concluded that life can be messy and we proved it. Our holiday season was a new level of glorious chaos! As a young bride, I had envisioned what my perfect Christmas would look like - calm, beautiful, organized and clean. I now have 41 Christmases under my belt as a married woman, and the reality is vastly different. This year was no exception. Children and adults overflowed in all the bedrooms, sleeping mats covered the floor, and a baby crib resided in the master bathroom. One of the uncles slept outside in the camper, and the other set up his kingdom in the office. Stories were read in the living room while a rambunctious card game took place on the dining room table. Kids were on the kitchen counter making pancakes while a team helped my elderly father with the stairs. “We have to build a snowman,” someone pipes in, as they ran to get snowsuits, gloves and hats out of the closet. A bit later, “We need a carrot!” yells one granddaughter from the door! “We’re done, take our picture!”
Oh yes, pandemonium it was, but it was so much more beautiful than my young expectations of an orderly Christmas. For this year it truly was a priceless holiday season. We were surrounded by family, and those we loved were all together under one roof. It was real, vulnerable, chaotic, fun and challenging. It truly was a beautiful Christmas.