My extra Christmas gift

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Can’t. Stop. Eating. Fudge.

We all know how I feel about winter. How by the end of February I think my hands will just fall off if I put on gloves or mittens again. How I don’t care anymore what I’m wearing, because all anyone sees is my coat. Well I have gotten an extra Christmas gift this year. A brown Christmas. We haven’t had much in the way of snow, and what we had melted. So it feels much more like November than almost January. Temps haven’t dipped much below 30, and we’ve still been having an occasional low to mid 40. In Wisconsin. In late December.

On Christmas Day there were kids playing in the park by our house. The kids across the street have been playing basketball. And while our Texas or Florida friends would have put on a parka long ago, those kids are out playing in tshirts or sweatshirts.

It’s been a great Christmas so far. We’re in between houseguests for about 24 hours. Just long enough to get the sheets & towels washed. Which I think has done wonders for our Christmas break sanity. The girls would be going completely stir crazy by now, but instead they’ve been hanging out with grandparents.

I think next year I should give the girls all the money for their Christmas gifts and let them buy for each other. Because there was nothing sweeter than watching their excitement over the gifts they’d gotten each other. Each of them was so excited about the gift they gave. It was nice to watch them be more excited about giving than receiving.

We had a laid back couple of days, and it was so nice to sit and think about what Christmas means. Since becoming a mother, I’m much more drawn to Mary every year. I think about the pain of childbirth, and the new mother worries. I can’t imagine being in her position. I’m amazed at her willingness to take it on. And I wonder if she was intimidated by it. Do you go about raising a child differently when you know he’s the son of God? Did Jesus have terrible twos?

I think this is my favorite Christmas Bible verse:

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19

I love that even Mary — just a very young woman, but mother of a very different kind of king — knew to take time to treasure that moment. To ponder it in her heart. How full her heart must have been, there in that stable. How thrilled she probably was to be done being pregnant, done with labor, and to hold her baby in her arms. It probably felt like forever since the angel had spoken to her, and yet like no time at all. I wonder how often she looked at him, full of a mother’s love, and suddenly realized, this is the son of the most high. Did Jesus keep her up at night? Did she ever exhaust all options to stop his crying, and repeat to herself, “He is the holy one of Israel. He is the holy one of Israel…”

I could go on forever, but that’s definitely what keeps my brain occupied at Christmas. You know, that and if I can manage one more piece of fudge or not.

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