Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Treasures

   The best gifts of Christmas are those you treasure in your heart. It's the moment when a child comes into a room with wide eyes and the biggest grin you have ever seen as she spies the gifts awaiting her under the tree. It's the unexpected bear hug from a tall son who also stoops to whisper, "I love you, Momma," into your listening ear. It's the quiet hubbub of little voices rising and the mothers' gently shushing them as Pappy reads aloud the timeless Christmas Story from Luke 2. It's the laughter around the dinner table. It's the grandchildren peering through the staircase spindles where once your own children pressed their faces in nearly the same way.  It's a granddaddy who rescues a squalling baby and whisks him away to a quiet room where it's just the two of them sharing a moment of precious peace.
   I count myself as one blessed woman. No Christmas is ever perfect, because we are an imperfect people in great need of that Holy One who came to earth on that fateful night so long ago. The real miracle of Christmas is not even the treasured memories we collect and carefully document in order to remember. It is undeserved grace poured out from heaven above. Grace for sinners such as you and I. It is a baby born to die. It is sins forgiven, negated, absolved and remembered no more. It is freedom. It is mercy that finds itself renewed every morning by the power of that majestic giver of all grace, Emmanuel, God With Us.

Getting ready for the celebration.
A lovely banner ordered here on Etsy and a caramel cake from the

The calm before the storm

All set and ready to go
And here they come
Say cheese, please!

And what to my wondering eyes should appear...

 "I don't know about you, but I am going straight for the glass slippers..."
 Nonna and the boys!
Things are getting crazy around here
 The girls' sleeping bags are a great hit!
Let's try them out in the teepee
 Good idea
Brother wants to get in on the action.
Note the matching socks. Not.
This guy is happy happy happy with his new book
Nothin' like a boy and his truck (and a few dinosaurs)
Hey, when do we eat? 
Uncle Bear and I are getting hungry...
While no one is looking, I'm gonna finish up the last of this spinach dip...

The girls feel special at their own little table
And then it gets a little crazy
 The aftermath it's time to chill out, and let the food digest while the grandbabes watch a little Sound of Music

 And the adults open their stockings...
 Am I dreaming or is this room getting smaller
and smaller and smaller?!
 Pappy has found the perfect quiet the teepee...with the grandchildren!

Then it's time for everyone to head home and put their sleepyheads to bed.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

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