I don’t know if it’s being 33, perspective, or circumstances, but the spirit and season of Christmas have changed in our home.   I love it.  When Toby and I were young and stupid we tried to express our love with money and gifts.  Which is lovely, but it was more stress than it should have been.  It was fueled by the desire to share our love, but we missed the big picture.  We’re finally getting our Grinch on and we’re getting real with what this holiday is about.  

I love making thoughtful gift choices.  I like that tingly feeling in my tummy when that magical moment of giving and receiving collide.  God’s fingerprints.  


We purchased more gifts for Quincy’s 1st Christmas than she could ever have played with.  We thought that’s what we were supposed to do.  Time, money, and Tate changed all that!  By the time you get to number two, the money is divided and so is time, energy, and patience!  We wound up with two overly spoiled girls, nonetheless.  Lots of experience, several years, and a baby boy later…  the essence of gift giving in our home is precious to me and has nothing to do with the price tag, quantity, or demand.

The meaning of Christ’s birth and the representation of the gifts to the King is well taught in our home.  We celebrate both with that sentimental “Hallmark Holiday” tradition as well as a spiritual joy for our Savior.  I think Santa is amazing and I love that we can enjoy a magical season of childhood with our kids as we plan their gifts.  

Our oldest, Quincy, is an avid crafter and designer of all things.  Our sweet neighbors…  they are so generous!  The husband is a high school educator and taught art for 25 years.  He has been giving Quincy art lessons on Monday afternoons after he gets off of work.  I am so thankful.  My heart is bursting with joy for her.  He was *MY* art teacher in high school.  What a precious sacrifice he is making for her.  

Toby and I chose to get her a starter sewing machine.  She is temporarily focused on being a fashion designer.  Quincy is such a hands-on learner and I’d like to think that she inherited some of her mama’s craftiness.  I am so excited to see the expression on her face and the amazing creations she will make.  I chose a loom and scarf making supplies for her stocking.  I am seriously grinning at the computer as I type this.

Our sweet Tate has decided that she is a Master Chef.  She loves the Food Network.  She plays “Tate’s Restaurant,” “Top Chef,” and “Chopped” regularly.  We were able to use some points Toby had of some kind of get a kitchenette for her, totally free!  Our friends and family have bought her a chef’s hat and coat.  Her stocking will have some simple plastic cookware for her kitchen.  She was blessed with an Easy Bake Oven from a sweet friend…  Toby will be blessed enough to try all of her edibles!  I will volunteer to judge the dish presentation!  It’s a two part score and we each have to do our part, Tob.

The little man in the house received a great big box a couple months ago.  I ordered his present early, it showed up, on the porch…  the girls saw it.  Santa couldn’t have brought that present early!  Duh!  So, Toby was sent to fetch a small red tricycle on behalf of the fat guy in the red suit.  As for the great big box;  It’s one of those plastic, smaller rideable rollercoaster thingamajigs.  Five star reviews everywhere you look.  He is so active, he will love these toys!  I snagged a SpongeBob Toothbrush and Toby found a plush Spider Man for his stocking.  I know Tripp will be so happy.  And, it will all be enough.  No matter what.  

I still have my Toby, my mom, and my sister to shop for.  I want to and have to get them something.  After that, I hope I have extra dinero to buy some fun gifts for the friends and family that I love so much.  But, if I don’t, I’m totally okay with that and I’m sorry if you aren’t.  BAHAHAHA!

For several years we have gone to the Christmas Eve service our church holds.  It’s normally a candlelight service.  I don’t think it’s a “vigil” is it?  The first year, we had to work (florists do not get holidays off!), and showed up a few minutes late.  We walk into the room and my Tate, who was like 4’ish, walked to the lights and turned them on because it was dark.  That was a moment wrecker.  

I think we may have had real candles that year, too, which made me real nervous with the kids, but they did great.  I love that we all go around and say something like one big family.  Sometimes it’s what you are thankful for or sometimes it’s a spiritual sentiment, but it is now more important to me than anything else on Christmas Eve.  It’s special.

Ya know, I couldn’t imagine being divinely impregnated, in a stable, ready to give birth.  And Joseph, props to that guy for sticking with Mary.  That couldn’t have been easy.  It’s such a perplexing, mysterious, and interesting story – the birth of baby Jesus.  I think I heard somewhere that when the wise men would have arrived to give Christ their gifts, he would have been close to age two.  Tripp is two.  I couldn’t imagine giving him frankincense, myrrh, and gold.  I wonder if Jesus was a real baby boy or a super baby boy.  

Speaking of which, our baby boy is grown up and in his own big boy bed *and* room now.  Yes, he is almost two.  Don’t judge me.  I loved having him close.  All of my kids, I like keeping them close.  Society says it is expected for them to go out into the world and someday I’ll be ready for that.  But, for now my heart says to keep them close.  I cannot explain it, other than a spiritual conviction to keep them close.  Something tells me that this time and experience is valuable.  That makes me all the more excited to share this season of Christmas love!

Merry Christmas!  

This picture is a close up of our family “Grinchmas Tree!”  


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