Yesterday I was going to write a post called "The Twelve Days of Christmas: the Pros and Cons," and it was going to say something like this:
After Silas and Eden gave each other their one present weeks ago and reveled in it, I began thinking that there is a certain brilliance in the Twelve Days of Christmas philosophy: Why not spread Christmas over several days to savor the gifts and avoid the ravenous ripping through that can happen Christmas morning?
Though the idea sounded great, I could think of no easy way to follow through with it, especially once here. But despite that, our Christmas really did shake into several days: We had California sibling Christmas, cousin/Eli and Hollie Christmas, and Newcott Christmas Eve all before Christmas. The pro's were everything I'd imagined: the slow wending through the season, through the presents, and the lack of one big binge. But as of yesterday, we had celebrated so many Christmases, that I could hardly keep in my mind that actual Christmas was still on the way - the clear con. I have always loved Christmas and been one to soak in its magic. But as of yesterday, I felt detached from all Christmas music, Christmas trees, and any sense of anticipation. Bummer.
[Enter today's blog: The Twelve Days of Christmas]
But then last night, after a day of Newcott Christmas, a mid-day of settling sadness that Cindy wasn't here, that we, again, sit at the brink of family change, we all headed to the church where Ben and I grew up for the children's Christmas service. Immediately, we were ushered into a side room where Max (my brother) and his 3 year old son were already wearing shepherd's clothing. They had volunteered our family, too -- Silas was quickly laden with sheep-dress and Eden made into an angel. Though Ben wasn't there yet, we were told that he was listed in the program as a shepherd too (he ran there). There we were, residents of a state across the country, fat in the middle of a church that had been our home for so many years, in a play. I LOVED it, and sat in the front row taking pictures of my little costumed family.
And while we sat in one of the more chaotic services -- instruments for all -- shaking my maracca to the Christmas carols, I listened to their words about light coming to me -- something I need so much -- healing, life. And I thought about birthdays and birthday parties. I love birthday's, especially my own. And I love birthday parties. I thought about how even when I don't feel like going to someone's party, I go because I love them and it's their day. So sitting there, I told God that I'd shake off my blah's and rise to the occasion, yes, I'd come to the party. It sounds silly, I know, but I made him a cake, just like I was a 7 year old, and piled it high with whipped cream, marshmallows and sprinkles. And thanks to my sister's prompting, the kids and I put out cookies and milk for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer. After they fell asleep, we all filled the stockings FULL, and went to bed with the twinkle of Christmas reignited.
And today, the twelveth day of Christmas, was the best Christmas day yet.