This Christmas really restored the magic of the holiday for me. It gave me faith that it can be as wonderful as an adult as it was as a child, if not more so. This year the shift that I was expecting last year finally took place. Christmas as parents. New traditions. New family dynamics. A new level of autonomy as individuals and as a singular family unit just Jason, Bastian and myself.
Some traditions stayed the same. We spent Christmas Eve with my extended family (mom's side) whom I do not get to see as often as I'd like through the rest of the year. We all gather for an afternoon service at my Aunt and Uncle's church where I am surrounded by their familiar voices singing along to the Christmas hymns in perfect harmony. Bastian was visibly as in awe of this as I have always been in my heart. Wide eyes looking around at all the mouths moving in unison, all the voices intertwined together forming the same words in complementary tones. This trend continued on throughout the evening once we gathered around for food and gifts back at their home down the road from the church.
It has become a standard now that my cousins and I are all older that we exchange "family gifts" instead of drawing names or giving gifts individually (since there are a ridiculous number of us), and so I have taken to using it as an opportunity to gain leverage on myself in terms of my crafting aspirations. Oh, self imposed deadlines... how I both love and hate you!
I made these guys, one for each family (tutorial in near future for those as crazy as me):
We celebrated in the way that we always do with laughter, conversation, hugs, singing and food. Lots and lots of really good food. Things that sound redundant when written in plain text, but in actuality never cease in their healing and nurturing powers. It was a year of much sentiment. Meaningful items of heritage exchanged as gifts. Passed from one generation to the next. Ornaments collected by my deceased Grandfather given to each of his grandchildren now that we are all grown and are either already decorating our very own trees or will be in the near future. Handmade gifts created with love for the recipient. Treasures found and passed along to the ones whom the finder thought of in loving generosity upon discovering the perfect present. Dishes of nourishing food prepared with patience and skill by one another as an offering of our hearts. The connection between generations, parents and children, Aunts, Uncles, Nieces and Nephews growing deeper each year. Equals in a new way. More alike now than different. Humor understood and appreciated by all in the room rather than a select few.
Of course the sweetness of the event was only multiplied, exponentially, by the excitement and joy of our little guy. No way to not be mushy about it. Plain and simple sweetness right there.
|Photo by Beth Iverson|
Have you ever seen a happier baby?
I didn't think so.
...Next up Christmas Day. Stay tuned. And, in the mean time if you would like to browse more pictures of The Eve of Excitement click here to view the whole album on my Flickr page.