Thursday, December 16, 2010

Home for Christmas

Being so far from family can be so hard, especially this time of year.  It is so easy to feel a little home sick when “I’ll be Home for Christmas” comes on the radio.  Every now and then as Christmas draws near, I find myself reminiscing on old Christmas’s when I was a child, waking up early on that special morning (if I was able to fall asleep at all), and jumping on my parents bed at 5:30 singing “wake up, wake up, it’s Christmas!”  We had a family rule that no one was allowed to go downstairs until everyone was up and ready.  Then when Dad was properly ready for us, with video camera hoisted onto this shoulder, we would all march down the stairs from youngest to oldest to see an amazing assortment of gifts that magically appeared during the night. 
            Christmas does many things for the spirit.  One of the greatest things it does is build lasting ties and memories with your family that through all the up’s and down’s that all families inevitably go through; you are still bound together in love.  It’s hard not to look back on your childhood and not find at least one Christmas that shines brightly in your mind. 
            I wish that every day could have the same feeling of Christmas.  That sense of magic, and sense of being loved as someone hands you a present that was perfectly sought out for you, and watching as someone you love opens your gift, and smiles in appreciation. 
            Although I miss my distant family, I realize that it’s up to me now to help my children develop the same traditions and feeling of Christmas that I cherish. 
            Today my boys came home from school carrying two big brown bags each of toys that they were able to purchase at their school’s Holiday shop.  They were so excited as they took turns hiding in my room while I helped them wrap the presents that they bought for their brother, sister and Mom and Dad.  They were so thoughtful in what they bought, and both asked me “Do you think Princess will like this?”  Of course she will.
            I’m so excited to continue some of my old favorite traditions of Christmas, singing carols, making sweets to share with friends and neighbors, reading Luke 2 and “The Night Before Christmas”, and starting some of my own like making homemade donuts on Christmas Eve, and having a fire in the fireplace on Christmas morning… something that we never had in Arizona.  I hope that my children will look back fondly on their childhood years.
As “I’ll be Home for Christmas” came on the radio tonight, for the first time in 6 years I didn’t think, “Oh, I wish I were.”  Today I thought, “Yes, I will be ‘home’ for Christmas”, and I will dance with my family on Christmas morning knowing that we are all so blessed to be home.

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