Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Unwrapped

 Just as quickly as it came, Christmas is now over.  I received an email advertisement today telling me that it is not too early to start preparing for Christmas 2013.  Seriously?  Has our society become so obsessed with disposable items that once the gifts are unwrapped and the calendar page turned to December 26 the day is gone?  I feel sorry for those for whom this is the case.  For us, the memories will live on allowing us to keep Christmas 2012 alive for ever.

Here is the "before" picture.  The living room is decorated, presents surround the tree and the stockings are stuffed.  But, what sticks out to me in this picture is the sign on the mantel that reads, "Bless this home with love and laughter."

Here is the "after."

We were all indeed blessed with an abundance of laughter and love.  Long after the trash bags full of paper have been carried to the curb, the Christmas tree darkened and packed away until next year and the new Christmas shoes marked by the dirt of life, the memories of love and laughter that we shared on this day will continue to sparkle in our hearts and minds.

We know that Brooke loves us because every Christmas morning she bakes us pans of homemade cinnamon rolls - lots of homemade cinnamon rolls!

We open our stockings, eat breakfast and then gather around the tree to open the rest of our gifts.

"Look!  Here comes Santa Claus!"

Just kidding.  It's not Santa Claus.  The timer on the oven just beeped signaling to the masses that the cinnamon rolls are done.

While we all indulged, Frankie did her duty and protected the gifts still under the tree.

Adidas was the first to open a gift.  

This kept him occupied while the rest of us opened ours.

Then it was time to find out who had been naught and who had been nice.

"Naughty or nice?"

"Surely this doesn't look like a naughty face?"

"I don't know whether this guy was naughty or nice, but for the sake of those of us who were definitely nice, I hope someone gives him a personal dresser for Christmas!"

"Really, I've been good.  Please, would you read me the one about the chocolate cake with the mocha frosting?  I'm getting tired of the one about the carrot cake and the cream cheese frosting.  It's so predictable!

Our gift opening was interrupted when it started snowing.  A white Christmas!  Another wonderful blessing.  Jason, who is from South Africa, claimed that he had never been out in this much snow.

Mike, who has, was not nearly as excited to be standing outside in the snow in his PJ's."

During the afternoon, we played Bad Apples, the newest incarnation of the game Apples to Apples that we played at Thanksgiving.  Though the game had its serious moments, it was wrought with a great deal of laughter and love!

I am so grateful for the time that my family and I had together.  We are truly blessed by a home filled with laughter, love, cinnamon rolls, a possessive cat and barking dogs.  As we live through the remainder of the twelve days of Christmas and usher in a new year, I will give thanks for what I have and pray for all those in this world who have nothing to laugh about and no one to love them.