Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas 2016 Recap

What an incredible Christmas this was. I love it when Christmas falls on Sunday because it seems so much easier to focus on what the holiday truly means.

That's good, because I took so few pictures.

I didn't get a picture of my entire family together for Christmas Eve with all the little ones in the new jammies listening to Brad read the Christmas story out of my parents' family Bible. That was a full circle moment for me--surrounded by all my grandkids reading from the same pages I remember as a child.

I didn't get a picture of stockings in my bedroom Christmas morning--all 17 of us eating chocolate for breakfast and waiting to go downstairs.

I didn't get a picture of Christmas morning commotion--the nerf guns and the new clothes.

I didn't get a picture of all 17 of us ready for Church in Christmas dresses and bow ties.

For a long time I've been the official picture taker, and I . . . just forgot. This is so foreign to me.

I did get a few shots with my phone as the day died down.

What is it about this pieface game that is irresistible? I think I'm the only one who hasn't braved it, and that's only because we ran out of whipped cream!

My sister-in-law is one of the kindest, most charitable people I know. When they arrived for dessert Christmas night, they had a Congolese immigrant family in tow--husband and wife, their daughter, and his nephew. Since they only speak French, Amy translated their story for us. Four years in a Namibian refuge camp after his father was assassinated in Congo. Waiting for paperwork to the U.S. Not knowing if any of their family is still alive. It was sobering as we sat amidst the wrapping paper scraps and empty boxes--listening and imagining.

Lily immediately scooped up their little Esther, tickled her and danced with her and laughed with her.
The more I see of the world, the smaller it gets. I wish . . . well . . . I just wish.

After a few rounds of scum, the cousins left and the rest of us settled down for the night. The adult game of Catan was interrupted suddenly by the unmistakeable sound of a small child throwing up on the stairs.

It wouldn't be Christmas without someone getting sick, right? Or, in this case, eating more candy than your body can tolerate.
After a quick bath, we spread towels out on the family room floor underneath Nathan and his bowl. Heidi and Sam returned to their game, and I ran my fingers through his curly blond hair until he fell asleep. It was my favorite moment of the day, spread out on the couch with my little grandson under the lights of the Christmas tree.

With 17 people in our family, the quiet moments are rare but so precious.

And Christmas may be over with few photos to prove it, but 2016 will be in my memory always. Nothing is better than having all of my family together for the holidays.

For any day.

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