This Christmas Day, I will look around our front room at the eight other individuals sitting near the decorated tree. They will each be seated in various places waiting for a package to be passed to them or excitedly asking that the gift they bought or made for so-and-so be quickly given. As I look, I will be grateful, once again, for the precious people God has given me the miraculous opportunity to call “family.”
Michael will be seated and hoping for a variety of things from his wish-list. He will most likely say a few words in German, as he has been teaching himself the language throughout this year. He dreams of one day going to Germany and telling the people there of Christ’s love. Throughout the day, Mike will undoubtedly mention something about his first bow hunting season this year or one of his AirSoft games. When he stands, he is taller than me. If there is snow, he may go out in the fresh air and use his cross-country skis or sled on a hill made by the snow his dad plowed. Siblings may join him, but if not, he’s content to enjoy the outdoors alone.
Cassia will be making sure that the gifts she has made for her family members make it into the right hands. Her smile will light up her face as she watches each person open her creations. She will probably make a special trip out to the pasture to wish a Merry Christmas to our old horse, Joy, and to her three young goats. Of course, this is after she has already bestowed at least one gift on her parakeet, Twitter - who, at 6 or 7 months old is beginning to gain a bit of a vocabulary. Cassia will also check on the chicks she incubated, hatched, and cared for this past fall. Truly our animal-lover.
Anna will be hoping for the latest Duggar DVD or a cover for her Kindle. These two items accurately describe her love for children and passion for reading. She will have already given gifts to the 3 children she has become close with hrough being their mother’s “helper” and she will probably have held at least one small baby in church Christmas morning...which will make her day complete. While Anna may be content reading a new book for much of the day, the others may have a tough time keeping up with her energy if and when they all head outside to play.
Katrina will be quietly watching all of the activity and trying not to stress if something doesn’t go exactly as planned. Though she may be thrilled with her gifts, only a smile will flash across her face along with a simple, “thank you.” Her restrained joy comes from her daddy. Anything that will keep her hands busy will make her very happy. She will look for opportunities to play games with family members or spend some time on the piano playing Christmas songs.
Seth...he will be happy if I just go over and give him a hug! One of our most contented children, he hasn’t asked for much this Christmas. He will spend his day eating all the goodies, heading outside for some activity, and being content to spend the day with his family. Whatever Seth does this day, he will throw himself completely into it with his whole being, just as he did when playing soccer this past summer & practicing with his bow and arrow this past fall. He will have fun, and smile most of the time.
Gloria will smile and laugh all day long. She will ooh and ahh over anything pretty. She will beg for someone to read to her and probably show off her new-found reading skills, as well. Gloria will probably look over everyone’s gifts while the sounds of “don’t touch!” will be echoed over and over! At the end of the day, she will kiss her daddy and I, put her arms around our necks, smile, and say something like, “I love you. Merry Christmas. Thank you!”
Zane will be thrilled that the long-awaited favorite day of the year has finally arrived! He will look around with wonder at the commotion. He will talk excitedly and tear into any package that makes it into his hands. Somewhere along the line, he will find mommy’s lap, sit in it, put his fingers in his mouth, and snuggle - his favorite past-time. He will stand up for himself, follow his older siblings, and eat as many sweets as he can until he’s banned from the table!
Eric. He’ll sit back and quietly watch as the mayhem unfolds. He’ll take pictures and free treasures from stubborn tape and wires. He’ll cut up vegetables, cheese, and pepperoni & make sure his faithful dog, Hunter, gets a few of those snacks. He’ll make the punch and serve it. He’ll get out the chess board for a game or two with the kids. He may even break out the ATV and the wagon for a Christmas Day ride around the property. In general, Eric will be the quiet motor that keeps our day humming without it breaking down in a heap.
What will I do this Christmas Day? I will enjoy my family. The family that I so often forget to enjoy, but to whom I often dictate orders, clothe, feed, put to bed, school, etc., etc. This day, I will watch for the gleam in their eyes. I will laugh with them. I will sit in amazement at how quickly time is passing and try to make it slow down...just for a few hours. After the long day has ended, I will sit with my dear husband...the one with whom I walk through this life...and just enjoy the quiet and the simple beauty of the lights. We will sigh and smile at the chaos of the day. We will be a tad sad that another Christmas has passed. We will be thankful to the Lord for our family.
In the midst of the church-going, the friends, the wrapping paper, the food, the loud voices we will remember the greatest gift....the gift of eternal life in heaven through the blood of Jesus Christ. We pray that each of you will give thanks for that gift, if you have already accepted it from the hand of God. If not, He’s holding it out to you...and we ask that you will take it, unwrap it, accept it into your hearts and rejoice. This is the Good News of Christmas. This is the Peace on Earth that we often speak of - the love and forgiveness of God. This is the must-have gift of all time. To you. From God.
Merry Christmas, our dear friends & family. We love you and pray for you God’s abundant love & blessings.
Eric, Vicki, Michael, Cassia, Anna, Katrina, Seth, Gloria, & Zane