If I had to list the first 10 things which come to mind when I think about this Christmas they would be:
1. Elf on a shelf: I love how my kids search for and look forward to finding him every day of the Christmas season.
2. Thank you Johns Hopkins for everything from the medical care I and my kids have gotten there to the gift bags delivered to our house before Christmas full of great toys (nominated and won a family award so kids got toys and clothes)
3. I can’t believe how many toys our kids get even when we don’t buy them much. It almost makes me feel guilty. Still, I love my kids excitement for new toys.
4. I love even more their desire to play with what they have and to play with each new toy.
5. Good grief, does every toy take 20-30 min to put together? This combined with 2 through 4 makes opening new packages an extremely time intensive ordeal. It’s an all day project.
6. My favorite present came from my mom, and she probably doesn’t even know it. For some reason, on Christmas as she sat downstairs with my 2 kids playing with toys they already had while waiting for breakfast before the mega opening session, is when I got my gift. My mom turned to me and said “You know, you and J are doing an amazing job raising these kids.” I’m not sure there are many compliments a parent can give to their child which could mean more.
7. I worry for my kids when our oldest dog Jake gets put down. At 5 and 6, they are just coming to grips with mortality which is totally age appropriate, but it doesn’t stop my worry.
8. I love that Jake still wants to go walk around the block with the other 2 dogs despite his having knee slide into and out socket a few times a day. Ouch. Still, the old windbag(usually stinky) , is incredibly loyal. We’ll miss his carpet cleaning after all the babies.
9. I hope K survives long enough for her lungs to grow healthy. As a foster kid, she has brought out so much J and I want to grow in our kids’ personalities. She’s a good kid who has grown so much from the silent, blind blob to a commando crawling, cord pulling, screaming toddler. Go K go. Don’t stop trying just because you get a few bruises.
10. I was looking up at the Navajo sand painting in our living room hung year round in the spot above where we have our Christmas tree this year. I was remembering the story I was told about it. As I recall those paintings were originally made as prayers for healing, and the quick way to tell the difference between between one made as prayer versus one for tourist is the circle. If it is a complete circle, it was a prayer. If it is a U or some part of a circle, it was made to sell. As I was looking at it on Christmas Eve, I made my Christmas wish: Please let this prayer continue to hold sway for all those growing up around it. Amen