Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Covetousness vs Christmas Contentment

Shopping Adds.
Black Friday.
Wrapping Paper. 

Broken Camera.
Used Winter Jackets.
Not So Waterproof Winter Boots.
Big Family, Little Apartment.
$200 Less In Grocery Money.

I am currently squatting in a beautiful house while the owners are floating in the Dead Sea. Definitely appreciating the extra space! I told them to start looking up the "squatter's rights" laws because we may not leave so easy... :)

My girls are twirling and dancing to Christmas music, two with pajamas on and one with her naked big belly bouncing all around. Also listening to little feet stomping all over the wood floors. My arm is covered in drool because Mr. Elias refuses to let me put him down this morning. Snow is piling up outside and beautiful large snowflakes seem to dance along with us.

The holidays, in my memory, are filled with huge family get togethers Christmas Eve accompanied with a large array of food, Aunty Joan's cookies, music, games, and presents, of course! There had to be 50+ presents under that tree! We would go around the room opening them one at a time watching eagerly to see what everyone got. 

That night my parents would allow us to open one gift each that was set aside for Christmas morning, which was always a new set of pajamas and a DVD. We would snuggle up and use our newly opened Eve gifts right away. Then it was off to bed! We would be sleeping for about an hour (yeah right! who can sleep with the anticipation of what's coming in the morning?!?)...

**Mommy Break: nurse Elias, tell Hayven to put all her clothes back on (what was once just a naked belly turned into a whole lot more), and brake up a few hundred fights... okay, back!**

My parents would stuff our stocks and place probably another 30+ gifts under the Christmas tree at our house. We would wake up and rush to our parents room to wake them up! After dragging them out of bed, my dad would brew a pot of coffee and we would have to wait for him... staring... at... our... gifts... waiting...

Then it was game on! Our stockings first (which ALWAYS had a life saver book, roll of ritz crackers and EZ squeeze cheese as well as many other little gifts). Then we would move on to our larger gifts under the tree, which preceded the tradition of "finding the pickle". It was an ornament that was a little green pickle and whoever found it on the tree got an extra gift. Food and play would proceed the rest of the day. 

With all that said, things are different now! I married an African and his family's Christmas are FAR different. Secular African music so loud you can't hear yourself think, lots of African food and really no "American traditional Christmas food", and no big present exchange. My grandmother died a few years ago and situations within my family have changed so much that the whole Christmas Eve tradition with my family is much different. And, frankly, I CANNOT afford to laviously (is that a word?!?) give my ever increasing number of children a wide array of expensive gifts!

So with my broken camera sitting next to me, and my still-trucking-on Mac in my lap, I am smiling! Because I have something so sweet that I didn't have when I was younger. I have true contentment! REALLY! I LOVE that we have small Christmas in our little apartment, with our dollar store Charlie Brown Tree and gifts from the GoodWill. I don't know if we will be able to afford to make Christmas Cookies and a large dinner. I don't know if we will get together with ANY family or not this year. 

BUT we have Salvation through Jesus Christ! We are NOT going to HELL when we die! 

Our little apartment may not be filled with decorations and gifts, but it's full of love, kisses, and hugs! 

Our little apartment may not be filled with cookies, pies, ham, and veggie trays, but it's filled with thankful hearts and left over African food from the party. 

We may not "hide the pickle" but we will spend the morning hiding God's Word in our hearts and singing praises to Jesus. 

I love our humble Christmas' and wouldn't trade them for any large, seemingly "magical" event anyway. Because we know the secret of Christmas: 
being content. 
 being thankful.

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