We've had about a week off from school, filled with lazy mornings, trips to Anchorage, c-c-c-cold temperatures, housecleaning, cookie baking and anticipation for Christmas. The little girls seem especially aware of this year's festivities and have gotten very excited at the thought of presents, both received and given.
This year's Christmas will be extra special because we'll be able to worship in the new church. The state fire marshal gave the okay for us to be in the space (read: 'legal' but not 'finished') and the Doepkens and many church members have been working diligently to get the sanctuary decorated and as free of sheet rock dust and other areas as cleared out and cleaned as possible. The little girls have fancy dresses that are partially black...wonder what they'll look like after tonight's lessons and carols service!
Our family is keeping things fairly low key tomorrow, as usual, but it feels almost too low key for me this year. I think having us all so busy these past few months made it feel like Christmas came up too quickly. But funny thing about Christmas...it's always in December, on the 25th. No excuses really work, do they?
Even as I wonder if we've gotten 'enough' for our kids (that horrible battle between materialism and what I want my kids to focus on), I keep reminding myself that this isn't about gifts or cookies or decorations. It's not any of our birthdays, after all (although the chocolate birthday cake will be tasty).
Christmas is about celebrating the birth of our Savior, Emmanuel with us. Thanks be to God.