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Yep. Christmas is over for another year. It has been a good one with time spent with family, and friends, presents and favorite traditions. As I am blessed to be working in the education field, I still have a few more days of vacation to enjoy at home with my dear daughters, and hopefully a bit of time with DS1 who was also here on Christmas Day.
December was a bit hectic this year, but filled with good things. DH and I were blessed with a long weekend trip at the first of the month to visit DS2 and his wife and to meet Dear Grandson 1, who we hope to legally welcome into our family when his adoption is finalized in a few more months. (Thank you DS1 for the wonderful birthday gift!!). The weather was almost perfect, and our hosts and DGS1 were even more perfect. We visited, saw a few sights, met up with my dear sister and her family, did a bit of shopping, enjoyed some great meals, and just got to know little DGS1!
The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas were fewer than usual this year, and my shopping and other Christmas preparations were put off for even longer than usual, but DH and I spent one nice weekend together enjoying his company party, doing some shopping for gifts, and then enjoying another wonderful birthday gift from DD3: tickets to a Christmas Concert performed by The Piano Guys. If you haven't heard them, you need to. You're in for a treat!
After that wonderful weekend, things really got hectic with work and final Christmas preparations. Children started arriving home for the holiday, I had the chance to visit a good friend and neighbor who has been laid up for several weeks with a broken foot and help her do a bit of cleaning and organizing. I was able to bake some goodies and deliver them to neighbors and friends, taking a few minutes to visit with people I don't often have the time to talk with. I even was able to prepare a few cards to send in the mail (I still have more to complete and send out belatedly).
Before we knew it, Christmas Eve had arrived. There was a fast and furious shopping trip (or two, or three) for a few last odds and ends, and then I was on my way to my home town to retrieve my dear parents so they could spend Christmas Day with our family. The kids helped clean and prepare more of our favorite Christmas treats, we had a fine turkey dinner on Christmas Eve and spent an hour or so singing favorite Christmas songs and reading the Christmas story from Luke 2 and from Matthew before hanging our stockings and sending everyone off to bed. Christmas Day was full of gifts and more goodies, a bit of snow on the ground and on the roads, talking with DS2, DDIL and DGS1 via phone, a spiral sliced Ham and cheesy potato dinner and and some long winter naps too. Dear Mom and Dad are now back in their own home and their own beds, DH has seen a doctor for some cough medicine and other prescriptions to help with a mild case of pneumonia, DS1 has gone off to visit with friends, and we've had a nice get together with extended family with the requisite white elephant gift exchange and even more goodies.
It hasn't been a perfect Christmas (is there even such a thing???). There has been illness and other challenges to face and the gifts were not extravagant, but to me it has been another wonderful Christmas. I have enjoyed music, been able to give and share with others both with time and service and material gifts, I have had time and visits with family and loved ones, and I have had time and opportunity to reflect on the greatest gift of all: The gift of the Son of God.