Christmas Break Re-cap
It has been a wonderful 12 Days of Christmas. We were able to take enough days off of work to give us this 12-day break, and it’s been chock full of adventures worth recording here for posterity’s sake!
Although the first day off was a little rocky (I ended up having to work, even though I was out of office on PTO), but once we got on the road and made it to Indiana things cleared up. There’s not much that being welcomed with a glass of champagne and a big hug can’t fix. We enjoyed dinner and a pre-Christmas gift exchange with the in-laws — good food, good times and lots of great presents! Including but not limited to:
And that was just the beginning! I love giving gifts as much as I enjoy receiving them, so I must say this year was an incredible success where both sides of the equation are concerned!
We got on the road to Georgia on Friday morning and arrived to a warm welcome at 6:30 in the evening. Dinner around the table at which we gathered every evening throughout my childhood is always a heartwarming experience. Nothing can mar that memory, despite the sibling spats and awkward silences those dinner table conversations may have included at one point or another — my mind will always remember the love given, learning offered and relationships built around that table. It’s something I hope to provide for my family some day as well. I believe the dinner table is a necessary pillar of strength to the family structure…. but that’s a post for another day.
Saturday (Christmas eve) was spent in food preparation and catching up with family. It doesn’t get much better….
Saturday evening was the Christmas Eve service at All Saints Episcopal Church in downtown Atlanta. Although my eldest sister sang in both services, I attended the first alone. It was reverent and memorable. I don’t need to be at the front of the church to know that my voice lifted in worship is heard by the most important Audience. I much prefer being amidst the congregation, whether we are in harmony or not — it makes me think that’s what heaven must be like.
Sunday was Sabbath. We spent the morning together as a family in worship. My sisters and I sang for the service and, again, there’s just no better feeling than being in harmony (mentally, spiritually and vocally) with those you love. I won’t deny that we were all a little anxious for the Christmas festivities to being, but I can’t deny the message of which we were reminded on Sunday morning: the only holiday which God has given us to celebrate continually is the Sabbath. On that day we celebrate not only the advent but also the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and anticipate His coming again. And we get to do it every week! No arbitrary day established by the Church to convert a pagan holiday can be more important than that. Nonetheless (and this is yet another conversation for another post), we are to live as a Christian culture and I think that the Christmas celebration can be a very important redeeming factor of a culture that might otherwise be sinking low under the weight of modern customs.
After church, gifts were exchanged, fun was had, more food eaten… and more gifts exchanged! Love this part!
And then the forced Family Photos…. always worth it, in my humble opinion. 🙂