Friday, December 27, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love Christmas. I mean, I absolutely positively love it. I love everything about it- Christmas music, Christmas decorations, giving gifts to loved ones, the charitable spirit that seems to take over communities. It really is just a magical time of the year.
As I look back at the holidays of my married life, I am overwhelmed with joy. Even through the years we were not lucky enough to have little ones of our own, we were still blessed to always be surrounded by family. We are blessed to have memories of being a part of Christmas with our nieces and nephews before having kids of our own. There is something so special about the holiday season for little ones who still believe in all the magic. (now I feel a "Why-we-do-Santa" post coming on....) I'm so glad my siblings allowed us to be a part of those memories for their little families. Even though we get together nearly every single Sunday for dinner, Christmas is just special. I can't explain it, it just IS.
Despite how wonderful our Christmas memories are, each year, at the end of the day, Jon and I get in our car and drive home. Each year we've hoped that it's our last to be spent as a childless couple, as we desperately hoped to grow our little family. There was a certain level of emptiness met with yet another holiday season without a little one to dote on and create memories for. A season that for us is all about family also served as a reminder of our struggles in creating our own.
This year was different.
This year, the joy of the season was paired with the joy of the homecoming of Chase- something that will forever change this time of year for us. This year, we got to play Santa, staying up until 2am on Christmas eve to make the perfect Christmas display, even though he wont remember a darn thing. (many of his gifts were actually re wrapped from his shower. Don't judge.Or other essential items that I bought but hadn't opened yet so they were gifts. I mean, Chase TOTALLY wanted a wipes warmer for Christmas, right?)
 Christmas morning was spent in our home. We woke up without an alarm, we lounged around in bed, enjoying the quiet stillness of morning. Chase began to stir shortly after I woke, and I scooped him up and snuggled him while he ate breakfast. My heart was so full of gratitude and joy. I am so thankful my Heavenly Father trusted me with this perfect little human.
As I laid there in bed, Chase snuggled on my chest, Jon fast asleep, Annie curled up at my feet, I could not help but be overcome with a sense of absolute joy. I am so blessed. We live such a blessed life. We may not have super fancy things. Chase might not have a lot of "stuff." He may never have the latest and greatest toys, he may be getting necessities rather than wants every Christmas for the rest of his life, but you know what? I'm really just thankful that we CAN supply the necessities- especially in this economy!
And of course, the dogs were not forgotten this season, either. Miss Annie is always front and center, and the Danes got plenty of toys for both inside and outside throughout the year that I put in a box and wrapped under the tree.
I got up and made breakfast, and My mom and Tanya swung by after. Carson was happy to help baby Chase open his gifts! After, we went to my mom's and spent the day with family. I wish Shelly & Nathan's family would just move here already- it would really make these kinds of things that much more special to have EVERYONE together.
At the end of the day, we returned home- this year as a party of three rather than two. There was no feeling of sadness as we have experienced in the past. There was no void, no hole that needed filled. Nothing was missing. No, this Christmas left nothing to be desired. We are so blessed. So fulfilled. So lucky. We organized and put away some stuff, and then ended the day in the same way we started it- the three of us (OK, four, Annie totally counts) snuggled up in bed, counting our many blessings, overwhelmed by just how amazing life is right now.
I know many argue that Christmas is just another day, that we should be charitable and grateful year round... and I do agree with the latter. But Christmas is not just another day. It's a special day. I look forward to instilling the holiday spirit in my children, and creating special memories that will last a lifetime. I hope they find this time of year to be as special as I do. I hope Jon and I are able to make it special. It's not about the commercial aspect of the holiday. It's not about gifts. It's about family. It's about Christ. It's about giving. It's about counting our blessings. It's about magic.
And in our house, it's about Chase. <3 This tiny little human that entered our lives and changed everything. I am amazed every single day at how amazing he is- how perfect he is. He challenges me and makes me a better person just for knowing him. This holiday season I am thankful not just for our blessings with are too many to count, but also for our trials this year- for the opportunities for personal growth. Most of all, though, I'm thankful for family. For Jon's family. For my family. For Chase.

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