Christmas time is the best time of the entire year for me. I love the giving. Everyone seems to be more giving and in doing so, without even realizing it, many are flooded with great joy for their very kind, simple acts of joy.
Knowing this about me, it should come as no surprise to you that on Christmas Eve, I had a hard time making myself go to bed. I sat in the living room, watching my children sleep. A current family tradition, started by Todd when he was young, sleeping on the couch, Christmas Eve, with the tree lit and the Christmas music playing. After spending 4 months of not actually having my family completely together, stealing this moment was quite a gift for me. I force myself to sleep, knowing that the morning will soon greet me and we can spend time together. I kiss them many, many times and excitedly go to sleep, anticipating Christmas morning!
I wake, having slept only a few hours. Merry Christmas I shout to myself! Everyone still sleeping, I sneak through the house so that I can enjoy my gift again. In the dark – I sit, quietly, with only the lights from the tree glowing, watching my children sleep, gazing at their still bodies admiring the fact that they are both completely at peace, resting comfortably. I love the Christmas music playing softly in the background and even giggle when a loud snore comes from the bedroom, knowing that Steve is sleeping soundly. This scene has played itself out for nearly 18 years now and my heart knows that I’m limited as to how many more I’ll get. I’ve already taken their picture while they slept, much to my surprise, neither move. The camera usually wakes Meg. She is so tall, yet sleeps on the love seat on Christmas Eve, still. Todd sleeps on the couch, my baby yet a wonderful young man. My, how time does fly.
My heart wants every happiness, every bit of joy, every ounce of comfort for my family this Christmas. My heart wants to give them never ending hugs that are topped with a million smiles, so that they will always know they are not only loved, but adored. They, my family, are my very best gifts. They never have to purchase one single thing for me as I have far more then I could ever want, their hearts, the memories that I cherish and most of all their LOVE.
Then, I imagine…God, my heavenly Father, sitting in heaven – looking down at me, while sleeping, even for just a few hours, wondering if I know that HE adores me, that HE loves me and that HE wants to give ME a million hugs wrapped with grace, comfort and mercy for the journey. He wants to give me life so that I might have it more abundantly. I imagine Him, wondering if I realize that HIS heart wants me to always know that I am loved and adored, by HIM.
I’m so thankful for my very best gifts. I’m so thankful that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I’m so thankful to be used, to have an opportunity of Spreading JOY every day.
Oh, the excitement is killing me. I have loved this wonderful scene for much too long now. I even let them sleep 4 minutes longer today! Its time to read the Christmas story from Luke 2, its time for giving, laughing and expressing love! It’s time for great joy! I happily bounce through the house, proclaiming that it is Christmas, waking the entire family with hugs, kisses and singing. “Merry Christmas Yall!” I proclaim loudly, joyfully and with great excitement!
Thank you for reflecting on my best gifts of Christmas with me. As you think back about your day, what traditions do you hold dear? What is near to your heart? What is your favorite memory of Christmas? Do you read the Christmas story with your family? What are your greatest treasures?
I hope that you treasure these things everyday of the year, not just Christmas. Trust me, if you do, you’ll be splashed with great joy every step of the way.
Just when you feel you have nothing to give…give the love that fills your heart! ~ Marie Wikle @spreadingJOY
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