"it's the most wonderful time of the year"...!!!
i'm just kickin' it after dinner with a nice glass of vino (for the non-spanish speakers among us...that's WINE) listening to trace bundy (despite the questionable name...he is a must listen! check out his dvd clips online at http://www.acousticninja.com. and a big thank you to luke for turning me onto him...great stuff!)...and just generally reveling in the fact that my birthday AND christmas are less than a week away! yippee! for those who are unaware...or maybe have just forgotten...i am a christmas freak! i'm one of those people that listens to christmas music all year round...and actually gets excited when the inflatable santas show up at costo before labor day (not that i approve of inflatable santa in any way. quite the contrary actually...i think they're not only tacky but a huge waste of space. still...they are the first signifier that christmas is on its way!!!) pathetic...yes...and i'll be the first to admit it. but i think a lot of my love of christmas stems from being born so close to the darn holiday! i have a very special story to share about my love of christmas...and i hope luke doesn't mind. i talked with my mom on sunday and she told me that luke (who is now home) told her that "christmas just won't be christmas without katie here". awww...isn't that sweet! it brought tears to my eyes...literally! partly because i love how sweet my youngest brother is (something the other one never specialized in...sorry pete...your strengths lie elsewhere! and that's a good thing!!!) but also because i'm slightly disappointed that i won't be able to be with my family on christmas. i know i've said it before...and i'm thoroughly excited to have christmas with just john and i...this being our first christmas as a married couple and all...it's just that i really will miss waking up to celebrate christmas in the tegeler household. i guess it's only appropriate though since technically i am no longer a tegeler. still...i will be missing my family on christmas day that is for sure!
after i finished talking with my mom...i talked with luke for a bit and he elaborated on his statement about christmas not being the same without me...he clarified that the reason it won't be christmas is because i'm the only one who actually squeals at the opening of gifts. yes it's true...i squeal. so i guess what luke was really saying is that christmas won't be nearly as ENTERTAINING as it has been in the past without me squealing at the knowledge that i just unwrapped a pack of lifesavers.
now...for a truly heartwrenching story...there was a christmas when i wasn't quite so cheerful. my mother actually shared this story at church last sunday...and since she already put it so nicely into words...i think i'll just copy and paste it right here...
"The next memory I’d like to share is a little more recent. My daughter, Katie, was 6 or 7 (i'm pretty sure i was eight...but anyways) and had been asking for a kitten the previous year. I told her she had to be old enough to take care of it, which might happen when she reached the magic double-digit age of 10 (a tragically long time away!!). That, of course, was a lifetime away and totally unacceptable to her. So, Christmas morning came and I carefully handed her a box to open. You’ve got it…there inside the box was a beautiful white…stuffed cat! Oh my! The look of total disappointment. She was crushed! (it's true.) I wish you could see the video I was taking at the time…the look on her face is enough to make Scrooge tear-up. No, I didn’t run out and bring in a real kitty…she was stuck with the stuffed cat for at least another year! Katie still has horrible thoughts about that Christmas. As she said, “It was the worst Christmas ever!” (you know what's funny...i have more memories from that christmas that all the others...kinda sad actually...)
Two Christmases with a common theme--disappointment. (i didn't include the first memory my mom had...but it was similar to the first with the exception of my mom as the protagonist) I know these are not the only ones…you can probably come up with some of your own and not only from childhood, either. The thought I’d like to leave you with is one you probably can come up with on your own. Christmas isn’t about the gifts we receive or even the gifts we give. It’s about God coming to earth for us…not with a lot of fanfare (o.k., a bunch of angels singing in the sky can be considered fanfare, however that was only to a few unimportant shepherds)…not with anyone noticing (o.k., some kingly wise men had some idea about it and showed up a couple years later). Jesus came to add meaning to our disappointments. We will have many disappointments in our lives…many a lot more important that these I’ve described. Jesus wants us to give him those disappointments, to trust him to bring something good out of them, and to have them draw us closer to him. So, when you are disappointed at Christmas or anytime, remember to go to the One who overcomes all disappointments with His love."
isn't she so wise??? way to go mum! and it's true...i did learn my lesson after that christmas not to put your hope in the material boxes under the tree...cuz really...where your treasure is...that's where your heart is right? as much as i love christmas...i really don't want my treasure stuck under a dying evergreen tree for one month a year...