Our Christmas got off to a rocky start thanks to continued septic woes. No one wants to cancel Christmas Eve dinner because their toilet is overflowing, but that’s what we did. A few emergency stop-gap measures later and we’re not in the clear yet (think drain field overhaul and a couple thousand dollars needing to be invested) but we’re functioning, and that’s enough.
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Christmas is here.
After the long anticipation of Advent, we’ve arrived. It’s time to rejoice in the fact that God came to dwell among us, and to rest in the fact that His sacrifice allows us to approach His throne unashamed, set free of our sins.
I’m the first to admit that some days, my kids hurt my brain.
Seriously, I have been posting a lot about food here lately. What? Is it December or something?
In all honestly, this is my favorite time to cook. Grilling is cool, and lighter, warm-weather foods are all well and good… but give me a big bowl of soup and a hunk of crusty bread any day. I’m just that kind of girl. Which means that this menu right here? Well, it’s pretty much near perfect as far as I’m concerned. Add in Christmas baking, Christmas Adam, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Simon’s 4th birthday (eek!) and I am in foodie bliss.
In our family, there’s something of a snowball effect of time that starts in September and rushes, pell nell, until the end of the year. I call it our “roll”— the four months of the year that hold seven birthdays, two major holiday seasons, two minor holidays, and all of the preparation and expectations that go along with those events.
Like many of my generation, I grew up with the idea that handmade was synonymous with “homely.” My mother– an expert seamstress– rarely sewed for me. When I convinced her to, I usually ended up relegatating the garments to the back of my closet, behind the store-bought blouses with Peter Pan collars and JC Penneys slacks that I only touched on school picture day. Jumpers and corduroys were too fussy for my taste, no matter how much I enjoyed picking out the fabric.
This Christmas, there is healing.
We’re still raw in some places, still bruised in others. But overall, we are mid-stream on the process that will bring us to a place of looking in the rearview mirror with only pangs, not sobs.
That alone deserves celebration.
December 26 dawns with two camps firmly established each year: those relived that Christmas is done, and those depressed because Christmas is done. **
Thing is, they’re both wrong.
This year, when I opened the box of Christmas decorations, there was something new wrapped in with the ornaments and tucked into the stockings: the sweet/sad awareness that the snapshot I now know to be our family’s holiday norm is fading fast.
Mary Hannah came back in time for Thanksgiving, and will be with us at least through February. That’s when she’ll return to Idaho for what could be a quick 10-day intensive course … or could be the gateway to the apprenticeship she needs to go along with her ongoing classes and cement her qualifications as a Certified Professional Midwife. I’d be lying if I said I’m perfectly at peace with her not coming back at all; who is ever ready to put their child on a plane and whisper, “Until whenever“?