Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Good Christmas

It is just a conversation starter, and people here in our home town usually find a few minutes to stop and chat with each other. The man at the feed store was the first to ask me. It was his way of being polite while he loaded my sacks of feed into the back of the Suburban. "Did you have a good Christmas?" I shook my head eagerly and smiled and said, "Yes, we had a nice Christmas." "How about you?" was my next comment. I encountered the same conversation with several different people throughout the day. It got me to thinking...what makes a good Christmas? My definition would be different from many others. Gifts are fun, but not essential for me. Michael and I have never exchanged Christmas gifts in our entire marriage. In the beginning, there just wasn't extra money for that, and now we don't succumb to the pressure of finding the perfect gift for one another. I enjoy my Christmas season to be full of the things I love...family, fellowship, and food. I don't want the holidays to be full of stress and frustration. There are many traditions that we hold near and dear to our hearts, but they don't involve stress. We make sugar cookies and decorate them as a family. Although it is a huge mess, it isn't stressful. Our cookies wouldn't pass the test of Martha Stewart, but we sure have fun doing them! Our view of Christmas has changed over the years. We pour more of ourselves into our children and less of ourselves into the other things. Good memories are made for all of us.

We enjoyed many special meals throughout the holiday season. This was a picture of our Christmas dinner. Many of the things on the table came from our own garden!

We spent time laughing and playing and just enjoying being together. Many evenings were spent playing Dominoes or card games.

My mom came for the week to enjoy the fun. This was the first year that I didn't cry when I thought of my dad. Christmas day was his birthday, and this was our 4th Christmas without him. I even made the special coconut cake this year for the first time since he died. It has been the traditional Christmas/Birthday cake since before I was born. The last few years I just didn't have it in me to make it or eat it. This year I did. I brought my daughter in when I was making the icing and asked her if she wanted a taste of my childhood. She looked at my with a very confused look and licked the spoon. She smiled because she loved the icing. I explained that this was the cake that we had at our birthdays when I was a child. I shared the memories of the cake, and I know in just a few short years I will also teach her to make the special cake.



My children enjoyed some special time with my mom. She is always very eager to play card games or dominoes with them.


Of course there are the gifts that bring huge smiles to my children's faces.
Yes, I would have to say that we had a good Christmas. A time to stop and enjoy being together as a family. A time to reflect on the things that the Lord has done this past year. We are so blessed and so full of thanksgiving for all that He is in our lives. A good Christmas indeed.
grace and peace,
julie




7 comments:

Mountain Mama said...

Welcome Back!
Sounds like you DID have a good Christmas. Being with family and focusing on the birth (and the cross) of Jesus is what it is all about.

So glad you made the birthday cake and enjoyed it. Your dad has left a great legacy.
blessings,
ashley

Nancy said...

It took us quite a while to enjoy some of dad's favorite foods too. I love all of your pictures though. Looks like a very relaxing fun holiday!

Andrea Cherie said...

mmmm Coconut Cake....I make it only once a year on my husband's birthday, Dec 24th!

Thanks for sharing family photos! Your daughter is beautiful!

Teri said...

Sounds like a wonderful Christmas. (Whatever that holds for each family. *smile*)

Glad to see you back and blogging.

Lea of Farmhouse Blessings said...

So glad that you enjoyed a blessed Christmas!

The photo in your header is just perfect for winter!

Wishing you a new year filled with joy and happiness,
Lea

TnFullQuiver said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. They mean the world to me!!
grace and peace,
julie

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