This Christmas has been interesting for me. Superman and I decided to take the family on a trip for Christmas. Superman, Mary Claire, Tyler, Adam, Thomas, Nanny and I will be hopping on a plane and traveling for Christmas. It is a once in a lifetime experience. Because of this amazing trip, we explained that there would be no gift exchanging. This trip will be the gift.
There have been no Reindeer cookies like these from the Budding Baketress. I have made batches of these for 23 years, until this year.
Every year I would joyfully buy presents for everyone I knew. I would carefully wrap each one. In our house, Santa would wrap each child’s presents in their own paper. I loved picking out three different papers. This year there are no colorful papers, ribbons, or bows.
This past Sunday, sitting in church, as I sang along I began to cry. I’m not sure why. Maybe I was feeling a bit lost. Maybe I was feeling sorry for myself because of some perceived thought that I was missing Christmas. But as I continued to listen to not only the words of the songs, but the message from our pastor, I realized what I was truly missing was Jesus. For whatever reason, I have put aside my daily devotions and prayers. I miss the connection to God. The memories and feelings I associate with Christmas’ in the past, are filled with joy, love and giving. There was excitement with a house of three young children. Yes, one child is married, one is in college and the other is working and attending high school. We are out of the pink aisle and truck section of Toys-R-Us, but I still have the opportunity to experience that Christmas joy, love and giving! When I realized this, I cried for joy.
The look of Christmas is different this year. Instead of giving for my small children, I created gifts for the small children in my life. Little boys will have dinosaur tails to attach to their waists, so they can roar and pretend to be a T-Rex or a triceratops.
I watch two sweet little girls squeal with delight over a restaurant kit I made them. The kit included menus, tickets to write the orders and hand sewn aprons. I got so much joy out of making these gifts for the small ones in my life.
I accompanied a sick five year old boy to receive gifts given to him by the area postal service carriers. I wrapped gifts for a little girl whose father is in jail right now. I’m going to decorate wreathes with ladies living in a homeless shelter tomorrow night.
In a couple of days I’m boarding a plane to spend nine days with my most favorite people in the world! This year’s Christmas looks a bit different, but yet it will still be the same. Instead of reindeer cookies, we’ll be eating Strufolli and biscotti. Instead of having a big ol cup of coffee by my Christams tree, I’ll be sipping esspresso in the village cafe. The gifts won’t be wrapped in holiday paper. The gifts will come in hugs, kisses, laughter and in making amazing memories. I cherish our Christmas’ of the past and I look forward to new and changinging seasons to come.
My pastor, Richard, just needed to remind me of the real meaning of “Awesome”. It’s not in artificial colored lights, but in the one true light who came to earth, lived among us, died for our sins and has given us an everlasting hope. Awesome is not in cut n’bake cookies, but in the sweetest tasting bread and wine of life. Awesome is not found at Toys R’ Us, but in the love given to us by a holy and AWESOME God!