Tonight the Christmas tree and other miscellaneous decorations will come down. We tried to make the tree last till New Years. It is unfortunate but live trees do not last well in the presence of our blaring heater. You can barely see the tree skirt as it has been replaced by a blanket of needles. Micah also took it upon himself to start taking down ornaments over the last couple of days. The tree is pretty much bare from his height down. Taking down the tree is like ripping a bandaid off. I cannot think about. I just have to do it. It is a shame after so much excitement and anticipation it all winds down so quickly. Alas that is simply life. I must keep a brave face for Kaylie. She was already heartbroken when I mentioned eventually taking down the tree on Christmas Day. Her responce was completely dumbfounded, as she innocently asked, "Christmas is already over?" She has such a merry heart. A week past Christmas she is still humming Christmas tunes. I am glad the message still rings true to her, and I hope it does not fade even as the twinkle of lights begins to dim.
In spite of Christmas being over we made many new memories. I decided to keep things happy and lighthearted so I decided to share a quick rundown of our Christmas events.
We had a traditional Christmas Eve as a family. Traditional in every way except for the blanket of snow sitting outside the window. I was released from work at 11am and enjoyed the afternoon by getting a few last minute gifts and then settling in at my aunt's house for some Christmas treats. Kaylie was completely amazed by the snow. She told me she had prayed for snow. She was so excited to see her prayers answered. We went out for a bit, but that did not last long. I am fairly cynical when it comes to any reports of snow in Texas, and I had not prepared well for a snowstorm. Kaylie is also a true Texan. She loves the look of snow, but about five minutes outside, and she was freezing to death. Micah was excited, but still too young to really understand what the commotion was about.
We had a great dinner at Italianni's followed by my absolute favorite dessert, the tartuffo. I'm not sure if I spelled that correctly. I am fairly certain that if their is a special dessert in heaven this is it. I always share with someone because I am embarrassed to say that I would eat a whole piece, which is not small. I must set some restrictions on myself.
Gift opening was fun. It is more fun to watch your kids. I was still very blessed by the family. My favorite part was really just being together, and feeling the joy and festivity that comes from grateful hearts. The weather was quite bad, but my dad and I still ventured out for the midnight mass. We were 2 of maybe 15 people in attendance. It was actually quite special. The chill of the night was quickly dampened as warm candlelight and joyful voices filled the air. The pastor gave a wonderful homily which was very relevant and gripping. I am not trying to knock the Lutheran chruch, but I have been to many services where the sermon was a bit weak, and the pastor got off on too many rabbit trails. The most surprising event was that the pastor actually came to speak with us afterward. After 10 years of attending this Christmas Eve service, he recognized us. I'm sure they find it quite humorous that we are so faithful to that Christmas Eve service even in inclement weather, but have never set foot in the church any other time of the year. Well no explanation really needed. Whether they know it or not we are of one faith serving the same God. We just happen to attend another church the rest of the year =)
Christmas Day was very special. It has been awhile since we spent the whole day together as a family. I cooked a prime rib with sides, and my mom prepared turkey and desserts. Chris' mom was with us as well as friends who are just as much family. We ate too much, played the wii, watched t.v., talked, laughed, and played games. It was everything Christmas should be. I am so grateful for family and friends. Thank you to Chris, Kaylie, Micah, Mom, Dad, Allyster,Melody,Mom #2, Mark, Trish, and big Micah. You guys made this a Christmas for the history books. I loved every minute.