Since marrying MrH and becoming a family of 2, we’ve talked about what we would want our Christmas to look like as we expanded our family. This year, we’ve finally hit it on the mark, we had such a lovely day! It was really the result of a lot of factors finally coming together after years of moving towards what we wanted, and also of some very meticulous, type-A planning (to distract me from our family’s rich emotional life).
When we were dating and engaged, we negotiated with our family’s each year about where we would spend which holiday. It was exhausting, especially because my family lives across the country, while his lives about 30 minutes away! We made the very difficult decision to tell both families that we would not be traveling at all during any of the major holidays. My family’s annual gathering was moved to a different time of year. His sister was relieved to no longer have 3 Christmas functions in one day as that family gathering now happens on Boxing Day. While there was all sorts of opportunity for people to feel hurt and rejected, we all worked together to make this alternate schedule work for everyone, and in looking back, the past 4 years of holidays spent at our home has been just what we hoped for. We had invited my family to come join us here for Christmas, but it turns out they don’t actually want to travel for holidays either. Go figure!
At the same time, ever since buying our home, God has placed it on our hearts that this is His home, to be shared with whomever needs it. (That agreement with Him is how we became parents, after all…). We knew our home was to be a gathering place, but weren’t sure what that would mean. This year, our Christmas at home finally felt like an actual gathering place. We hosted my sister and her boyfriend for a low-key brunch. Then had my in-laws, a friend and her family, and another friend with a date, all over. All people who were missing the large gatherings of family and felt a little stranded this particular season. It was delightful to have a house full, and our new dining room table was able to accommodate everyone. The kids were thrilled to blow out the candles on Jesus’ birthday cake, and spent the rest of the afternoon/evening playing with all the new toys they’d received.
Having so many phases to our day, and balancing it out with some outdoor time and some rest time, created a flow that the children managed with ease. Preparing in the days before allowed each of us to enjoy each part of the day. This truly was the Christmas that MrH and I have been working towards for a few years now. And while our needs and desires for the day will undoubtedly change, I am grateful for the time we had. I hope I will remember to feel encouraged about the steady progress we made as each year we moved a step closer towards how we wanted things to be.