I must apologize for getting so far behind on Harula’s GLADvent Calendar!!! It was an extremely busy weekend! BUT, I shall endeavor to get caught up before I start my laundry!. 😀
You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. (Desmond Tutu)
I think I struggle with this quote a bit because I believe we CAN choose our family. We chose our family when we adopted Stefanie Kavitha from India. And then there’s that old saying, “Friends are the family you choose.” I have a BIG family if I look at it that way.
Now I suppose there is the fine point (for those who believe our life is all planned out by God, fate, the universe) that Stef was already chosen for our family as were my friends. But that’s a discussion for another time. What Harula’s word actually made me think of was CHILDREN and how they affect the Christmas holidays for me.
I’ve always loved the Christmas season, but since the kids became adults and followed their own paths, that joy has faded a little more each year. I knew that in my heart, but couldn’t quite put my finger on why until two years ago when Stef came to spend Christmas with us and brought our youngest grandson with her.
All of a sudden there was so much hustle and bustled to deck the halls in full regalia you would have thought royalty was coming for Christmas! We were so excited. Preparations reached a feverish pitch until finally we were exhausted. And that was with just ONE grandson. Lord knows what it would have been like with all three! LOL
One of the things we did before Christmas was take Caleb to the city park that is festooned with a bazillion lights and little houses full of fun things. Cold as it was, Caleb was mesmerized by what he saw, same as he was mesmerized by being allowed near the Christmas tree! (Stef had never put up a tree. Long story for another time.) But the most fun was Christmas morning. Watching him trying to open his presents (he was 13-months-old) was magical! The anticipation of that morning nearly killed us! I kid you not. It was that morning I realized why the enchantment of Christmas had faded for us. It was because it had been way too long since we had seen it through the eyes of a CHILD.
You know, Jesus said to his disciples one day, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14) The disciples figured they were doing Jesus a favor, that all those little rugrats running around climbing all over him were a pain in his keister. But Jesus knew the magic and possibilities that abide in the soul of a child who hasn’t yet been tainted with disbelief. It takes that kind of belief to see the world as a better place. That’s a kind of belief we could use a whole lot more of right about not.
So now when I think of FAMILY at Christmas, I know it’s the CHILDREN who make my season Merry and Bright. I just wish our grandkiddos lived closer to us than clear back in Maryland… But fortunately we’re flying out to see them in January. We won’t miss it by much this year.. 😀