Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Presents

This year Christmas was really fun. Of course to me every Christmas is wonderful but this one came with some extra gifts! The girls have been terribly excited all month long, the were literally bouncing with anticipation! Katie wanted a Wall-E toy with all her heart and Abby wanted monkey slippers. After much searching I found monkey slippers at the mall and Wall-E on Ebay. Things were good even though I felt so very icky! The Christmas cantata went well at church, I sang in the choir and was in the play and managed not to get sick or fall down through the entire thing! The Christmas Eve service at church was beautiful and Abby (who decided she wanted to stay with mommy and see the candles) was well behaved although she did almost scorch her eyebrow. she kept blowing out my candle and one time got a little too close, but its okay, she could benefit from a little more respect for fire!

We got the girls home by reminding them we still had to open presents! We raced home and the girls ran to the living room all aglow with the Christmas spirit. Last year Abby wasn't certain what she was supposed to do and even Katie was hesitant but not this year! They ripped into their presents squealing over each one! We saved the Wall-E and the monkey slippers for last and poor Katie didn't know we had set them aside. She looked close to tears when she though the presents were all gone and said in a very sad voice, "But Mommy! There was no Wall-E!". Then of course we made a big deal of pulling out one final gift from under the tree and I think this picture I got of Katie sums up the utter joy of receiving the perfect gift!
Here's Abby trying on her monkey slippers!
Here is Joel with his favorite present. Our camera was making everything very bright but if you look close you can see that it is a very special edition of the Lord of the Rings books altogether in one volume as Tolkein originally intended them to be. After they played with their toys awhile we put out milk and cookies for Santa and an apple for the reindeer and sent them off to bed.
A wonderful Christmas came a little while later when my dear friend Shanna called to tell me some great news, her and my brother-in-law Nathan were offically dating!!! This has been our secret (well, maybe not so secret) desire for a very long time! I bounced and squealed all over the kitchen and then had to sit down before I lost my dinner! Congrats you guys!!!

It was 10:30 before the girls finally drifted off to dream of sugarplums so I was expecting them to sleep in the next morning. We had no such luck, they were up bright and early at 7:30. We managed to get them to stay quiet until it was 8:00 and then we all tumbled downstairs to see if Santa had come. Unfortunately I had to make a detour to the bathroom and Joel had the unhappy job of holding the girls back while I grappled with morning sickness.

When I had finished up we continued on to the living room where the girls cheered that Santa had come and then jumped up and down while Joel took down their stockings. On the top was our traditional orange which Katie so adored that she just sat with it smiling happily and telling us how much she liked it. Abby meanwhile had looked at her orange, given it a sniff, showed it happily to me for the picture,and then dived into the rest of her loot. We encouraged Katie to look at what else was in her stocking and after a minute she put the treasured orange down. There was much squealing as they discovered princess candy canes, ladybugs (Katie), and monkeys (Abby), and many fun assundry items. That cookie was the only Christmas cookie we could find with no milk in it, I was very proud of finding it! So we had a nice relaxing day where the girls played and Joel put together their kitchen from Auntie Shanna. It had something like 70 screws and Joel decided he didn't like Shanna very much anymore :) It went together beautifully though, is very sturdy, and the girls are having lots of fun with it!

I laid down for an afternoon nap (which is such a luxury) and my favorite Christmas gift of all came...the baby kicked! five little fluttery taps! This was the first time I felt the baby kick and it couldn't have come on a more perfect day!

That night we had a birthday cake for Jesus that was supposed to be red but came out kind of hot, dark pink. We lit one candle and sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and then ate some except for Abby who got strawberry sorbet since the cake had milk in it. When we were talking about the cake at dinner and how we were going to have it for Jesus' birthday Katie got worried and asked where Jesus was. I explained He was in heaven and then Katie asked if how we would get the cake to heaven. I completly misunderstood the question (Katie pronunciation of "cake" does not sound much like the word cake) and went through a brief explanation of how we get to heaven. Katie listened politely and then looked very confused. She then asked if we could take the cake with us which Joel then finally understood. There was much laughing at our mistake and then we explained that Jesus wouldn't come down for His cake and we couldn't take it to heaven but it made him very happy that we were celebrating his birthday with a special cake. This satisfied her and she enjoyed the rest of the night. :)
One of my favorite parts about Christmas this year was how much the girls loved hearing about the nativity. We have a little cloth manger scene that the girls play with and the baby Jesus was the most beloved piece (he looks like a peanut with eyes). We got a special children's book about the first Christmas which the girls loved to have read to them every night by Daddy. The best moment was when Katie announced that she "loved Baby Jesus soooooooo much!" to which Abby quickly agreed.

With all this thinking about baby Jesus it of course, led to some more deep Katie questions at bedtime. We've had discussions about Jesus before (ie what does heaven look like, what do angels look like, What does Jesus do in Heaven etc...) so a lot of it we had already talked about. The past few weeks Katie has been really trying to connect baby Jesus to grown-up Jesus, to Jesus who rose from the grave and is in heaven. I enjoy answering her questions, though it is sometimes hard to put it in terms she would understand and I don't want to scare her by talking too much about death. On Christmas eve she really seemed to understand how no one but God's son could rise from the dead, she seemed to connect Jesus the man to also being Jesus God. It's such a special privilege to get to explain the wonderful story of Jesus our Redeemer with my daughters! As their mother I get to be there to guide them ever closer to God's love and saving faith which is something I never quite get over the awe of.

Which brings me to why Christmas is so important to celebrate...its the beginning of Jesus' story on earth, the first step in the plan for our redemption. While santa is fun, stockings, and other extra curricular Christmas activities like gingerbread houses... the most important part is to remember we do all these things to make the day stand out, to make it special, so we won't forget the most amazing gift ever give-Jesus! So I will close now with my favorite Christmas song. I love it because it tells the whole story; from Christmas 'til when Jesus calls us home!

Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne

Thou didst leave They throne
And Thy kingly crown
When Thou camest to earth for me,
But in Bethlehem's home
Was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity;
O come to my heart Lord Jesus;
There is room in my heart for Thee!

Heaven's arches rang
When the angles sang
Proclaiming Thy royal degree;
But of lowly birth
Didst Thou come to earth
And with greatest humility;
O come to my heart Lord Jesus;
There is room in my heart for Thee

Thou camest, O Lord,
With the living word,
That should set Thy people free;
But with mocking scorn,
And with crown of thorn,
They bore Thee to Calvary!
O come to my heart Lord Jesus;
There is room in my heart for Thee!

When the heaven's shall ring,
And the angels sing
At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me home,
Saying yet there is room
There is room by My side for Thee!
And my heart shall rejoice Lord Jesus,
When Thou comest and callest for me.

1 comment:

Art Kilmer said...

Joel has a beard. He looks so dreamy. Just Kidding! Those little girls are so cute. I can't wait to have one of my own soon!!!!