Merry Christmas from all of us! The season of Advent seemed to pass quickly this year and Christmas has arrived. We enjoyed a long weekend of final preparations and enjoyed Adam having time off at home. I have to say the most fun part of Christmas this year for me has been watching the boys’ excitement in giving to each other and the generosity they have shown toward each other. My plan was for them to draw names so each boy would only be responsible for buying one present and thus not strain their small allowances too much, but when we took them shopping individually that plan was soon thrown aside as they thought about their other brothers and discovered things they wanted to give to them as well. I found myself blessed and challenged by this. As a very frugal person, generous giving in the past has never been my strongest point. Of the two of us Adam often has been the more open-handed one. It is an area God did a great deal of work in me when Gabriel was so sick as an infant, and it has truly been a joy to watch the boys love to give to one another.
Christmas Eve the boys and I went to the afternoon candlelight service at church. Supervising five children with candles is always a bit stressful, but I must say the boys did remarkably well and required very little instruction. In fact, of the six of us, I was the only one who spilled wax! Sebastian spent most of the time blowing the candle enough that it would almost go out, but not quite. We only had to relight it twice.
After church we went home and had dinner while watching Dr Seuss’s Grinch and then opened our traditional Christmas Eve gift–matching pajamas for the boys. They also opened slinkies and silly putty from their Aunt Miranda and Uncle Jon which was a great success. We bedded the older boys down in the playroom for the night with vain hopes that we might sleep a bit longer in the morning.
Alas, they were up not long after 6:00 and set about their task of preparing monkey bread. Isaac even showed Sebastian how to help. We did our Christmas reading and ate breakfast and then dove into the great gift exchange. The boys consumed a vast amount of sugar (in addition to the monkey bread) and spent the day playing with their new things. The greatest success of the day I think was an electrical set Adam picked out for Isaac. There was much time spent building different projects with the other boys looking on. All of the boys (except Sebastian) received drawing items and Adam even surprised me with a drawing book and pencil set which I am very excited about.
In thinking of Advent and the celebration of Christmas I can’t help but think of what is often said to new parents after the birth of a baby. “Now the real work begins.” And as I think of the celebration of God with us and am reminded that we are not only to celebrate, but to be changed by it. May the light of Christ shine upon us and may all who seek him be changed daily more and more into his image. It is indeed a great work, but thankfully a work undertaken by the very one who made us and he has promised its completion.