I am wrapping up the Monday after Christmas. I spent the day cleaning, doing laundry, and managing my houseful of kids. I also kept finding myself thinking about gifts.
My Christmas was full of gifts. I received many wonderful store bought gifts. I also received gifts that moved my heart.
I was given the gift of Surprise. We had some friends surprise us with gifts for the last 12 days of Christmas. Each night our doorbell would ring or there would be a knock at the door. When we opened the door, no one was there. Instead, we were delighted each night by a present on our doormat. It was a pleasure to receive and my kids were really excited to see what the "Spirit of Christmas" would leave us.
I was given the gift of words. My 8 year old and my 6 year old bought gifts for the family from the school "Santa's closet". They both took time to wrap the gifts themselves. Then, motivated only by his own heart, my 8 year old wrote notes to each family member and attached it to the gifts. These notes are treasures to me.
I was given the gift of friendship. I wasn't gifted with new friendship but I was overwhelmed by the love I received from friends. In one case, I wish I had been more prepared. The gift giving was lopsided and did not reflect the value we have for the friendship. But, the Christmas gifts left me feeling thankful and loved.
I was given the gift of time. My husband and I have given each other big gifts and small gifts over the years. This year, we didn't. Honestly, we didn't plan well and shopped for the kids the week of Christmas. My husband took Christmas Eve off and we considered heading our separate ways to shop for each other. We opted to be together. Together, we played with the kids. After the kids went to bed, we enjoyed chocolate fondue on Christmas Eve and Christmas night. That time was precious. Christmas Eve was not stressful. The time together was a great gift.
I was given the gift of an ordinary day. Unfortunately, on Christmas Eve, I went to bed with a small headache. I woke up about 4 a.m. with a pounding headache. I took medicine then and several more times throughout the day on Christmas. My 2nd son had a fever on Christmas Eve. Unlike for me, the excitement of Christmas morning outweighed his aches and pains. I made the best of enjoying my kids get excited about their gifts and then I went back to bed. My body did not care that I was supposed to be celebrating. I had to let go of my planned day. I was frustrated but I didn't have the energy to be mad. Later I realized my day was a gift. My headache kept my energy level, my expectations, and my emotions down. I still enjoyed the excitement of the kids. I just remembered that Christmas isn't promised to be perfect. The letdown I felt because I didn't feel good reminded me that Christmas is not about me (or that holiday happy feeling).
I came away from Christmas feeling loved and thankful.
It was a wonderful Christmas.