Elliott’s First Christmas!
DISCLAIMER! I wrote this post the day after Christmas, and then was without internet to upload the photos! So, it’s late…but better late than never :). Enjoy!
I remember last Christmas so vividly…not the presents, not the people, not the events…no, all of my thoughts were consumed with the idea that next Christmas we would have Elliott with us…not inside my womb, but here with us. He would be 9 months old and he would wear Christmas jammies and he would destroy the wrapping paper we used to cover up his very first Christmas gifts…he would smile at us and wave at us and snuggle with us. He would dance to jingle bells in our arms and he would follow along as we read, “That’s Not My Reindeer” to him. We would get to celebrate this beautiful time of the year with him instead of waiting for him…
And I can’t even count the amount of times that tears have flooded my eyes this Christmas season as I realize that he is, indeed, here with us this Christmas. For the first year ever, I couldn’t think of a SINGLE thing to put on MY Christmas list, but I had an entire document filled with things that I wanted to get Elliott…I have everything I want right here in my sweet, perfect, little family. At the end of the day, all I care about is snuggling in Christmas jammies with Elliott and his handsome daddy…
Last year, however, when I was picturing this year’s Christmas, I could have never envisioned that we would be in three different countries within the month of December. I could have never envisioned that we wouldn’t have a home, or a Christmas tree, or a place to hang our stockings, or that we would get take-out on Christmas Eve. I could have never envisioned that we would just wrap two small gifts for Elliott because that’s literally all we had time to do. And I’ll be honest–there have indeed been a few times when I’ve had the slightest moment of sadness that I haven’t had a home to decorate and Christmas music playing 24 hours a day throughout our home since November. I haven’t had the time or the opportunity to carefully select and beautifully wrap Christmas presents. It hasn’t been a neat, tidy, perfectly orchestrated Christmas season…but it has been PERFECT for US. It has been perfect for Elliott, and it has been perfect for our family. We got to spend the hours we would normally spend shopping, putting up Christmas lights, cutting down a tree, and decorating instead being entirely outward focused…serving, loving, and bringing the gospel to those in real need. We got to simplify this year…majorly simplify…so that it is just our wonderful little family, waking up on Christmas morning in the home of a dear friend who let us stay in her house, opening a few simple gifts, and simply enjoying being together.
So now that you’re probably feeling pretty darn guilty that you have been running around like a crazy person this Christmas season, cutting in line at Toys R Us, and making sure that your kid had the most popular toy of 2011 sitting under the tree, and SERVING someone in need has perhaps been far from your mind, let me just be honest. I probably wouldn’t choose to do my Christmas like this every year…I’m not quite THAT holy, you know :). This isn’t going to turn into a sermon about Jesus being the reason for the season (although he IS, you know). (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.) I am grateful that God gave us an opportunity to serve and travel this Christmas season, but you’d better believe I’m already picturing where our Christmas tree will go next year in our new rental house…and I’m already thinking about how I want to wrap Elliott’s presents…and I’m already thinking about the new Christmas CD I want to listen to next year… and I’m already thinking about the peppermint brickle that I’m going to bake…and the garland and the lights I will put up around our house…Ahh, only 364 more days to go!! But for now, I am simply and overwhelmingly GRATEFUL. Grateful for our family, grateful for each of our families, grateful for our friends, grateful for the adventure the Lord has us on, grateful that Grammy Karen got us some Peppermint Bark so we had a fun dessert after eating take-out on Christmas Eve.
Here are a few picture highlights from our Christmas 2011!
We got to spend our Colorado Christmas with ALL of my family!
Christmas Morning 2011