Today is Christmas--- December the 25th in all its’ glory! As I look outside my Missouri window, I see beautiful white snow covering every horizontal surface. I’m slowly taking down years of accumulated Christmas decorations, doing laundry from last night, and nursing sick people, including myself. Actually, I’m supposed to be sitting around a room with family that we don’t see very often. But this year, five out of six of our clan have fallen victim to the flu! It’s been eventful, but not at all in a good way! All the same, it seems to be what makes Christmas for us!
When I was growing our Christmases were so predictable and safe! I literally knew every step of them long before they happened. Each year, we drug out the exact same Christmas decorations… the blue-faced angel my brother colored as a child, the trio of porcelain Christmas mice, the collection of Belkie bears, and a wide-variety of others. We visited grandparents like clockwork, opened our one present on Christmas Eve, and then awoke to a full room of Santa’s delivery on Christmas morning! It was perfectly perfect and it never ever changed. And I liked it very much.
And then I got married (which was a good thing, by the way!) But that little Georgia Christmas changed. I lived six hours away from them, and although I still made it home, it looked different. And nothing about our Christmases has ever looked predictable. I can’t help but ponder them all today.
There was the Christmas in 2005 when we were waiting on a judge in Ukraine to sign over rights to a two year old and make us the parents we’d dreamed of. We came home to a house where a church family had put up and decorated a tree for our new family of three!
In 2008, we were waiting on yet another addition to our family. Not knowing when Max’s mother might give birth, we were hesitant to drag out lots of decorations, so we pulled down a small tree on Christmas Eve and a few balls. It was our last Christmas as a family of three.
In 2011, we spent our first Christmas abroad! Not thinking Christmas decorations were a priority, we didn’t bring any with us. Instead we lucked up on the saddest tree you’ve ever seen at a mall in India. We paid almost $100 for it and loaded it up with homemade ornaments.
In 2012, the same tree was in place, but an accident with a saw would leave our little family of four sitting in an Indian hospital praying that Jason’s arm would be okay. Luckily, he would heal, but it scared us all!
In 2013, we sat on a beach in Thailand. I was VERY pregnant with twins. We buried a little tree in the sand and shared our last Christmas as a family of four. It was an absolute dream.
And then there’s this year. The flu. Lots of laundry, Tylenol, and Tamiflu. Hopefully Jack will remain standing! Fortunately, in preparation to head south for Christmas, we opened presents with our kids last week. So everyone had a few days of health to enjoy all of their toys!
Maybe we will make it south soon, but there’s a chance we won’t! All the same, this is what Christmas is made of for our family of six! And each of them… the good ones, the bad ones, the scary ones, the exciting ones… they are perfectly perfect! And I like them very much!