Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Reflections

I am frazzled.  I blame Christmas entirely.  I don't think the sweet 7 lb 11 oz baby Jesus would approve of the frenzy that surrounds the celebration of his birth.  I swear I have an ulcer.  Or maybe I've just been eating too much junk food.  Either way, it's not good. 

So I'm glad it's pretty much over.  Somehow, I have to get this house recovered by around 5:00 on New Year's Eve.  I can't believe no one got me a free year of Merry Maids. 

There were some splendid moments.  A few minor miracles. 

For instance, I made enough cookies for a pretty Christmas cookie platter.  I'm sad to say the dog ate a good portion of these when she escaped from her crate the other night, but on Christmas Eve, they were lovely.

Our tanenbaum.  The kids decorated it and this year, I didn't rearrange the ornaments.  That's not entirely true.  I moved all the ones on the bottom up higher so the dog wouldn't eat them.  The dog consuming all Christmas-related things was a major theme of our holiday this year.

On Christmas Eve, Ella cuddles with Justin Bieber.  No, it's not really Justin Bieber.  It's Jacob, my friend Janet's son.  I hope his girlfriend doesn't get too jealous over this picture.  (Note Ella's pink boots.  They were also a definite theme this holiday.)

Our friend Billy reads an "interactive" Christmas story to the kids.  This is Caleb interacting. 

Christmas morning at last!  While reading the story of the birth of Christ from the book of Luke- right before we are about to open present when the kids are so excited they look as though they might pee their pants- John sends the kids a look of irritation.  There's nothing more vexing than having your children behave like children on Christmas morning on Christmas morning.  Sheesh. 

Ella opens the first gift on Christmas morning.  It's the gift of- arting!  WE LOVE ARTING!  Boots are a go.

Here is Caleb.  He has just opened up his Spy Net Video Watch, which records audio, video, and takes pictures.  And this is not creepy or annoying at all. 

Note Caleb's busted lip.  He fell off the top bunk, flat onto his face..  He was "trying to sit on the very, very edge of the bed.  But IT DOESN'T HURT MOM!"  Ben, on the other hand, gasped in pain every time he wiggled his newly loose tooth and nearly had a panic attack when it started bleeding.  These are two very different people.

Yes, I bought my husband a machete for Christmas.  Because I am an awesome wife.  And because I am concerned about the inevitable impending zombie apocalypse.

Benjamin lost his tooth during our Christmas dinner!  His very first tooth!  I am so glad it happened Christmas day and not Christmas Eve.  Santa's PR reps try to keep this information under raps, but you should know that Santa and the Tooth Fairy have an unpleasant history and actually cannot stand one another.  (It stems from the following argument:  who works harder?  TF works all year, but Santa visits every child in one night.  It's a tough call.)  I so did not want a confrontation in the middle of the night. 

December 26th= Christmas #2 at the in-laws!  There were three puppies present.  Three.  Is this the Chinese year of the dog? 

I continue to torture Kiah by dressing her in costumes.  So long as she keeps stealing food and breaking precious memorabilia, I will continue to do so.

Ben relaxes with uncle Richie and aunt Michelle. 

Uncle Scott, Ella's favorite person in the entire world thank you very much, has just placed a crown on Ella's head.  We will ignore the fact that it is crooked because he is a man and doesn't have any children yet. 

Ella does love to get dressed up.  She was wearing a new jumper that morning.  She added layers of new clothes as she opened them.  She received a Tinkerbell costume later in the afternoon which she insisted on putting on immediately.  By the end of the day, she looked like a very fancy homeless person.  (Yes.  She is wearing her pink boots.)

Christmas #3 at my dad's...

John shows off his "beard."  He tries this every year.  Silly, silly man. 

On Christmas morning, I opened my gift from John: a netbook.  Which immediately broke.  My toy broke!  I have to get another one.  I will wait for it under my new sherpa blanket, which makes me very, very happy.  Sherpa blankets make winter much more bearable. 

Daniel asked me to take this picture.  So I did.

And that was our Christmas in a nutshell.  A whirlwind of beloved family members, wrapping paper, and dogs. 

In a half an hour, it is my birthday.  I will be 33.  One year older than Sally of Harry and Sally fame, and the same age as Jesus when he died.  (And yes, my birthday totally gets overshadowed by His, but I don't hold it against Him.)  So, of course, there's much reflection on the things I have not accomplished during my time on earth.  (Jesus: masters carpentry, saves the world.  Holly: masters cookie platters, saves leftovers.) 

Of course, comparing myself to the world's ONLY perfect person is folly.  It's convenient that my birthday falls so close to New Year's: I can make grandiose resolutions once instead of twice during the year.  This year, I resolve to emulate Christ without striving for perfection.  You were striving for perfection?  Really?  I would never ever have guessed that in a million years based on the way your house looks and also your hair. 

I was.

You know what happens when you strive for perfection?  You realize how utterly insufficient you are.  You become overwhelmed.  Then paralyzed.  And small hills become the Himalayas.  And you dream of perfection without actually accomplishing... anything at all.  And you become depressed and despondent and numb. 

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

I am looking forward to year 33.  Pressing on! 

Merry Christmas!  I hope you have had a peaceful and blessed holiday.


embejo said...

I really enjoyed reading this. That's all..and happy new year to you :)

hokgardner said...

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday. And I totally covet that sherpa blanket.

Claudia Jabieski said...

Beautiful, Holly. And happy birthday. And when the zombie apocalypse arrives (and you and I both know it will), I'm coming to your house because you have a machete. I'll bring Blake's gun.
~ Claudia

Jessica said...

Beautiful post about a beautiful family :) Happy Birthday <3

Liz said...

Happy birthday! Christmas looked like fun!