Christmas 2018

2018-12-25_19-46-57Another Christmas has come and gone, my heart is filled with love and my stomach with goodness.

Watching the joy of Christmas through the eyes of a 9-year-old and a 4-year-old is about as good as it gets.  Their glee-filled joy at every gift, while their kindness and appreciation for everything they receive is heartwarming and their genuine excitement to give the gifts they have picked out for others is even more of a blessing.

Christmas is my favorite time of year, we honor traditions that have been part of my life since day one and create new ones each year.  My favorite day of the Christmas season is Christmas Eve, now at my house, on that day I feel closer to my mother than any other day of the year.

I do my best to make it as special as she always did, I don’t come close to her expertise, but I do my best.

As a child we always opened our gifts on Christmas Eve and had Santa on Christmas morning, now, we have turned Christmas Eve into our “tacky sweater” competition, and like most things we do, we all compete hard to win!

Christmas Eve is also filled with lots of laughs, at some point everyone is the butt of a joke as we tell old and new stories on each other.  As the night ends, we depart, hopefully with memories of fun and love that will be called upon again and again in our minds and hearts.

Christmas morning, everyone heads to my niece and nephew’s house for Santa, breakfast and gifts.  An embarrassment of riches fills the floor of my childhood home, now made anew by my niece’s family.

The giggles and joy of sweet girls now fills the room where rambunctious boys once played.  More memories are made and heartfelt gifts with special meaning get interspersed with toys, clothes and housewares.

After breakfast, we all return to our respective homes, I usually take a nap while my sister-in-law is busy preparing one last Christmas feast.

In the early afternoon, we gather at my brother and sister-in-laws home for a traditional meal and more laughs.  Another new tradition we have incorporated over the last few years is board games after we eat and clear the table, once again we fight to win and play hard to come out of top.

As evening approaches and the sun sets on another Christmas we make our way to our respective homes, filled with love, laughs and stomachs bursting after the consumption of more food than humans should eat.

Now in my mid-50’s Christmas memories are even more precious than when I was young.  It no longer has anything to do with the brightly wrapped gifts, the real treasures I get on these days are the memories and gifts of time that I am able to enjoy with my family.

We aren’t perfect, we all know how to push the buttons of each other and sometimes do, but overall, I can say we do a pretty good job of celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, the one where love prevails and the joy of that first Christmas miracle is celebrated.  We’re definitely not Normal Rockwell, but we are about as good at being Rumsey as you can get!

I hold these memories close to my heart, I try to remember each word, each laugh and each expression of love, I hold these memories in my heart in hopes of many more with the people I love most.

Merry Christmas friends and to my family, thank you for another great celebration, filled with the magic of Christmas!

Christmas Playlist…. Gloria in Excelsis Deo

May the Star that shone so long ago guide you.

May the birth of a baby in a barn lead you.

May the joy of the season remain with you.

And may all your days be filled with the magic of Christmas.

Merry Christmas friends, the joys of Christmas are real, I hope your hearts are warmed, your spirit soars and the blessings of the day remain with you forever.

 

Christmas Playlist…. Silent Night performed by Mannheim Steamroller

Life’s Playlist…. JOY to the World! performed by Jeremy Riddle, Bethel Church

Three years ago today, the very instant of the photo you see changed my world.  This beautiful Christmas miracle was placed in my arms and life has never been the same!

Hadley Rae was born and immediately wrapped me around her little finger.

The joy she brings me is unlike anything I have ever known, she explodes my heart every moment I am blessed to share with her.

Today, Hadley turns three, I just hope someday she realizes what a blessing she is.

I pray that her life is filled with happiness, opportunity and overwhelming love.

I love my baby girl and praise the Lord for her life, she certainly is a JOY to MY World!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Playlist…. The Sweetest Gift performed by The Piano Guys and Craig Aven

I heard this song for the first time last night and it completely sums up feelings I try to hide during the Christmas season.

Like many of you, sometimes I find the magic of Christmas to be overwhelmingly sad, because those I love the most aren’t here to enjoy these times with me.  Although I know in my heart they are here, and I add the special memories to my decorations and traditions to include them, often during the season the grief is paralyzing.

I miss my loved ones every day, but there is something about Christmas that makes it more difficult.  While I am good at hiding it, I hold them close to my heart and in my alone times reflect on them even more.

The words of this song sum it all up, a perfect memory for those who celebrate with us in heaven.  While not here physically, in our hearts forever.