Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A New Tradition?

This has already been such a neat Christmas. First of all, Jackson is at a great age. He's old enough to understand somewhat, but he doesn't remember last year and isn't obsessed with getting presents tomorrow. But I told Curt that this will be the last year that we're not woken up at 6 a.m. by an excited child coming down the stairs! Although when that happens next year it will be a whole lot of fun, too.

Second, being in a new house in a new-old city, we've gotten to lay a foundation for our family traditions for years to come. It's been so fun. And I don't feel like we've put a ton of pressure on ourselves to make everything super spiritual or "magical." Christmas is already those things if you set your heart on Christ every day. We've enjoyed lots of freedom in that area, if that makes any sense. Last year I felt a lot of guilt about everything cool and deep that so-and-so was doing that we weren't, but I did not pick it back up this year. I just want us to be who we are as a family and who we are in Christ. I don't want to pressure us to get on somebody else's bandwagon or play the comparison game in my mind. Wow, how did I get talking about this? Moving on now!

Third, it's really special to be great with child at Christmas. Thinking about the birth of Christ comes pretty naturally when you've got a little one kicking around in there all the time.

Fourth, this is the first time since our very first married Christmas to wake up in our own home on Christmas morning. We will set out for Missouri on Friday, but it's been nice (and very unusual) not to be traveling all over the place this year. (I think I feel an extra measure of calm because we didn't just travel for Thanksgiving.) This December we were not as busy as in years past, probably because Curt is no longer on a church staff. Ministers are busy, busy, busy during the holidays with all the church Christmas parties and services they have to run and attend. It's fun but the calendar fills up fast!

My husband has been amazing this Christmas. He happily took on most of the responsibility for our Christmas shopping and year-end giving. I can't tell you how much relief that brought me, (A) because it is so hard trucking around town with my pregnant self and (B) because Jackson hates being in a stroller and that makes going to the mall with him impossible right now. If he throws a fit and flails about on the floor, Pregnant Girl is pretty much powerless to do anything but watch. (Don't worry, Mama will get her strength back in 7 weeks!)

Tonight we started what might be a new tradition for us. I hope it is because it was so much fun. We went to my parents' house for dinner. Melissa and my mom had been cooking and baking all afternoon and we had all sorts of treats. Colin and Mom made us Reuben sandwiches on the skillet. It turns out Colin worked at Jason's Deli when he was a teenager and he has mad skillz at sandwich making. I ate mine without the sauerkraut (that stuff is just sick) and it was great. My mom's dad used to make these sandwiches at Christmastime and she was really missing it. We had the best time sitting around the table and visiting.

My dad gave me back my camera bag tonight and I thought it felt a lot heavier than normal. When I opened it I saw that he had left his super duper lens on it. Not knowing how to take it off myself, I took the camera bag to him and said, "Daddy, you left your lens on there." Then he told me that, no, that wasn't his lens. That was my new lens! He had just bought it for me today! Along with a new battery! I could not believe it. What a sweet surprise! I've been trying it out tonight and I think it's going to be really great to have. Thanks, Daddy! What great timing with Christmas tomorrow and the baby coming soon. I told you he was the most generous person ever.

We came home and put The Sir to bed quickly. Mom and Dad Elf had lots to do! Curt had to put together this awesome race track that Jackson is going to flip out over. I know this because his friend Nathan has one and he went nuts over it when he got to play with it. We got out the video camera which, shamefully, hasn't been used since last Christmas. We watched the footage of when he got his bounce house and it was so cute. He wasn't talking a lot then, but he squealed so loud. Oh my gosh, I love that boy.

I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas with your loved ones tomorrow. And if you don't have your loved ones, you have the unique chance to focus on the Savior in a huge way. Not that it wouldn't be hard, but I bet it would be one of those things that would be very sweet to look back on later. (Angela in Romania! We love you, sister!) I pray each of you can feel the nearness of Christ tomorrow.


Tara D. said...

I am right there with ya with the whole "Let's do super-spiritual things on the holidays" just for the sake of doing them...or just because others are doing them. If we honor God all year long with our lives...Christmas Day (and other holidays) should be no different. Thanks for the reminder!

Yolanda said...

Curt, Amanda, Jackson and baby girl:


From our home to yours,
Yolanda & my Man

creative gal said...

Thanks for sharing. This is the first year I have been in my own home over the holidays. It has been a neat time even if it is due to strange circumstances- my recent surgery, my mom's health issues. A good portion of Last night was totally focused on HIM and I am looking forward to the same today, this afternoon my family will come over to enjoy lunch, but otherwise, it is been nice to have one on one time focused on the true meaning of the season. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Cathy said...

We're waiting for our girls to get up (and they said we'd sleep late) so I'm catching up on blogs. I hope you have a terrific time this morning. Merry Christmas!

Missy said...

Glad to hear you are creating new traditions! I just wrote a similar post about enjoying being "us." It is such a freeing thing! Can't wait to hear about Jackson seeing his new track!

Lindsee Lou said...

Amanda, what a sweet time for you and your about-to-be family of 4! I am so glad y'all are making sweet memories and maybe lifelong traditions! I hope y'all have a very Merry Christmas! Much love your way today!

Huge Blessings to y'all!

bethany said...

Merry Chirstmas Amanda, Curt, Jackson, and baby girl!
Know that you are loving every moment of your special day today!
Thanks for the reminder of the opportunity to focus on Chirst in a new way as I am not getting together with family...hard but resting in the love of our Lord!

Ang said...

Thank you for your prayers, I love you guys, too! It's true...It has not been easy, but I am already processing the sweetness of it all. I can't wait to read about Jackson's reaction to his present! Merry Christmas!

Kiki said...

Merry Christmas!

Ah, the comparison thing, Satan sure likes to take us down in that area, huh? Also, we read 2 Jesse trees because we weren't so hot at remembering to do it and actually, didn't finish it. But, the boys know Jesus was born!

And you're right, next year, 6am! And it is totally fun.

Safe travels! I'll say a prayer for you.

Holly said...

Hope you enjoyed a wonderful day, Amanda! Praying over your travels and time with Curtis' folks. May it be filled to the brim with BLESSINGS!


PS I love Jason's Deli--I'm more of a turkey & swiss with french onion soup; whereas, my Chris is mufaletta (sp?) all the way! This also reminds me of our "conversation" about Jason's Deli here in the Springs and their pickles. Are you enjoying pickles??

Tara G. said...

My Granny died in April- she used to give us jars of her homemade apple butter for Christmas. It tasted so good on her homemade buttermilk biscuits. I went out and bought those really fattening Pillsbury frozen southern style biscuits when I was down to my last jar. I suppose I could probably learn to make both of those, but they'd never taste quite the same. A friend used to tell me recipes like those are "seasoned with memories," which I don't suppose anyone could ever quite duplicate. Merry Christmas to you!

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

Merry Christmas, Amanda! SUCH beautiful photos on your card! :)

Good words on the comparison thing. You ministered to my heart tonight- thank you! :)

I actually CRAVED sauerkraut when I was pregnant with my second! I ate more Reubens that year than I have in all the years since! :)

petrii said...

Merry Christmas!! I so enjoy your post. I will be thinking about you as you travel to MO tomorrow. I live about 30 mins from Springfield, I always think of ya'll when you travel this way.

Again Merry Christmas and safe travels,

Sister Lynn said...

Thanks for sharing your Christmas joy, Amanda.

We did have a wonderful Christmas in the convent. Lots of joy around the Christ child, the God-with-us.

Praying for safe travel for you to Missouri.

Sister Lynn

twinkle said...

YOU are a delight!
Merry Christmas and a glorious new year to all of you.
Thanks for all the smiles you've given me this year. And especially thanks for all the ways you've touched my heart through your wise words.
And thank you for all you do for the LPM blog. What a blessing it is!

Mindy said...

I was "great with child" a few years back at Christmas -- and by great - I mean my daughter was born on Jan. 12.
It was an amazing expirience being so far along and expiriencing what Mary might have been feeling at that some way -- without the whole birthing the savior of the world part!
Merry Christmas!

Tara said...

When I read your Mom's post about her dad's reuben sandwiches, I wondered if you all ever made those anymore on Christmas Eve...I'm so glad that you did this year, especially with resident chef Fitzpatrick:)

And congratulations on getting a new lens for your camera... What a special surprise from your Daddy!

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

Thank you for the reminder that it will be something sweet too look back on later. It was a hard and unique experience.

R said...

i've got one better...we've not had our video camera out since our firstborn's second birthday... OCTOBER 2007!! and we had our second daughter the following month! no video footage of her at all until Christmas.

i, too, feel the shame. :0) we took several tapes' worth of footage this Christmas, though, and maybe we'll just leave the whole tri-pod set up since it's already out.

Lauren said...

Hey girl, I love what you said about Christmas already being magical if you set your heart on Christ every day. As new parents, Andy and I struggle with how to emphasize Christ at Christmas to our daughter and your words were truly so freeing. Thanks for sharing!

katiegfromtennessee said...

Little Momma,

I enjoyed hearing about your Christmas:)...yeah, the comparison thing is not productive, I hate it when I do that...Yay! Little Siesta movin' around in there!! Soo happy for you! If my invitro takes in May, I may have multiples early instead of 40 wks, so I may have them in the middle of hunting season (gasp!:)...MMmmm, all that cooking...Sounds like you had a blessed Christmastime!:)


Erica said...

Girl...I am so with you. Brian and I talked about that a lot this year...about how when you focus on Jesus year round, your kids do know the "real" meaning of Christmas. It is fun to do the magical things as well. They are only little for so long. I am glad you were able to start some new traditions.
Love ya!

Just Call Me Grammy said...

I love your Christmas card--such a sweet family. I wanted to comment on your decision to give up the presure of making Christmas 'super spiritual'. I couldn't agree more with Tara: If we honor God all year long with our lives... Christmas Day (and other holidays) should be no different." We never felt the pressure to cram all our kids spiritual training in on Christmas morning. You can relax a little and enjoy the fun of Christmas and they can still fully understand the real meaning of the holiday.

Looking forward to seeing pictures of your new little darling with that new lens from your sweet dad!

Eli's Lids said...

Found your blog while blog hopping. Fun new tradition... the best ones are the ones that just kinda happen on their own.