We had the sweetest Christmas this year. The thoughtfulness of my family always amazes me, but this year it was definitely all about the babies! J and I had so much fun picking out gifts to give our littles, and it was worth every dollar spent to see the smiles and excitement on their faces all morning. As I was putting them to sleep on Christmas Eve, I was flooded with memories of anticipation, and of not being able to sleep.
I remember one Christmas morning when we all woke up WAY too early, but not too early for my grandmother June, and she herded us all into Mari & I's room for a round of "I Spy," to pass the time. I remember the year my sister and I were gifted the ultimate barbie mansion (3 stories, complete with an elevator that was later used to torture our small rodents who tried to climb out of their sweet ride to the pent house between floors). There was the year when we didn't receive much at all, which I'm sure killed my mother (she always tried to make sure we had enough). Another year we came out to find all the presents perfectly organized in stacks by sibling thanks to my older brother, Jonathan, who I assume had snuck out to the living room in the middle of the night to see what the deal with the loot was. Then came the year when my mother cancelled Christmas in favor of Yule, and we all decorated "Yule Logs." The year after my Mom left for New York, I attempted a Christmas Revival at the Van Noy house, and we hung lights for the first time ever, maybe. Those lights might still be up on the house, lol.
Every Christmas between then and now is kind of a jumble of memories, but I think I will always recall this one vividly. The year of celebrating CHRISTmas instead of Xmas (much to the disapproval of my mom... sorry, I can't help but love Jesus, I hope we can just keep on loving each other anyway, lol) and of anticipating the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and not just the day of lights and pretty wrapping paper. I read The Nativity Story to Mikey most nights (he was pretty determined that we bake a cake for Baby Jesus, but maybe next year, lol!). We tried to work hard on Mikey have a grateful heart, and we will definitely need to go through our toys to and find some that we aren't playing with as much to donate.
This year, we decked the halls (much more than we have in recent years), we celebrated with family, and genuinely enjoyed each other's company. My sweet sister-in-law was nice enough to talk Jesus with me, and I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with her in the next two weeks (I've seriously been hurting for "girl time" for the last year - I'm sure Sarah will be completely sick of me by the time she leaves!).
I hope all of my extended and long distance family had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish all the best for you all in 2013!