Hope and Peace

‘Tis the Season of Giving

Growing up, I loved Christmas. My parents would get us way too many presents. They would spend so much time and care into getting gifts for us. I remember the excitement of unwrapping the gifts. My dad would love to surprise us. One year, I really wanted a bike. We opened all our presents, and then my dad would say, oh there is one more present under the tree. Sometimes, it would be a note to say find your present downstairs or a picture of it. Christmas was always so happy and magical.

Now that I am an adult, I really appreciate how my parents kept all the surprises a secret and wrapped each present, without us seeing them wrapping up presents. I don’t know how they did it all. They didn’t even have Amazon. My mom would bake dozens, upon dozens of cookies and make fudge. We would give huge trays of cookies to our teachers and neighbors and still have a ton at home. Now, that I am the mom, it is all up to me. It can be stressful. It can be really fun too.

This year, I was sick and started late on all the Christmas preparations. I made fudge. My kids love fudge. I made 5 trays of brownies from scratch for my husband to pass out at work, and have some leftovers for my kids. I used to make the cut out cookies with my mom, but she is in assisted living facility this year, so I am going to have to figure it out on my own this year.

I sent the Christmas cards. I sent gifts to my husband’s family. My family doesn’t exchange gifts anymore. We had a difficult time financially, a few years ago, so we stopped exchanging presents then. I am thankful to be able to get my kids presents. I love picking out presents. It makes me feel giddy, hoping that the person will smile and like the gift. I almost can’t wait for them to open the present. We had a few tough years, when it was difficult to buy presents. It still is not easy, but its better than it was.

I just cannot stand the thought of people not having a present on Christmas. I get items and pack the boxes for Operation Christmas Child. I give presents and donations to church and families at my kids’ school.

I am really thankful for my life. I have a great husband and two beautiful kids. We have our perfect home in a nice neighborhood, and I get to stay at home with my kids. I have everything that I could ever want.

My kids have been drawing pictures, wrapping them in wrapping paper, making labels and sticking on bows. The tree is full of presents. My son asked if I liked presents, and I said that I love presents. I said that when I was little, I would get a ton of presents. I do not always get presents anymore, so I am looking forward to unwrapping the presents they made for me. And, I really am. I will treasure this Christmas. I didn’t ask them to make presents, they wanted to make them and did. I let them go at it. I did not peek. I stayed in the kitchen, while they went to work for hours.

I know the most important part of Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus. I am so thankful that God has pulled me and my family closer to him. I don’t think that I have ever been happier, than I am right now, being close to God. I am so thankful God gave us the gift of Jesus.

Merry Christmas! Enjoy the crazy, hectic fun of preparing for Christmas.

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