B's Christmas

6:21 PM

Our Christmas Day was a blur of activity, as it usually is. We woke up and drove the 1.7 miles to my parent's house where the brothers were stirring from bed after a late night of watching movies and taking advantage of the next day off. My dad was tending to the turkey he was preparing for lunch. My mom was in bright spirits knowing that all her children would be gathered under one roof for the day. As 10:00 approached, Chad and Melissa trickled in from her family's Christmas, Zach and Anna arrived from Fort Smith, Lauren showed up, and my Grandma arrived in her standard dress, hose and heels with the fixings for her famous deviled eggs. Brooklyn moved among her uncles and aunts with the ease of a little hostess, showering them each with her radiant smiles and hugs. Jeremiah found a quiet corner to do his morning quiet time, refusing to be pulled out of his routine just cause it was Christmas morning.

As we all found our way into the upstairs living room, my Dad pulled out the BIG family Bible and read Luke 2 as we all mouthed along by memory. When the last words, "and Mary pondered all these things in her heart" faded into the air, our next ritual commenced: the singing of Silent Night - which is usually a challenge as most of us can't sing very high and it gets sketchy there for a minute. This year, my mom, the alto, started us out and everyone was able to hang in there. We then went around the circle and prayed, from youngest to oldest - Rachel, Jeremiah, Michael, Josh, Lauren, Zach, Anna, Chad, Melissa, My grandmother (she didn't pick up on the whole order thing), Kyle, Me, Mom and finally, Dad. Then, we all poured down the stairs like water down a chute, each to our stations in the living room.

As we man our appointed stations, my mom and dad start handing out gifts. I was pleasantly surprised this year to note that each of us was more interested in seeing how our siblings liked the gifts we got them than they even were in their own pile. It was a sign to me of our maturity and overall gratefulness. I was happy. As the paper flies and everyone's exclamations and shrieks of excitement fill the air, I pause to savor the moment. I love my family. I love the loudness, the overwhelming display of love and affection, the generosity we each showed to the other. I love that such a thing exists and that it belongs to me and my husband and little girl. I love being a part of such a huge organism of LOVE! It was a beautiful Christmas with my family.

I don't even mind that Kyle and I didn't make it back to our house until mid-afternoon to open our own presents and put Brooklyn down for her nap. And that her own presents weren't opened until even later. Truthfully, she still isn't into the opening of gifts all that much. She just loved the activity. As the day drew to a close, I felt full of the moment and contented beyond measure. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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