Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Present

Christmas Present: My Family's Tree

This is my family's Christmas tree!

Every Christmas Eve my family likes to pick up Subway sandwiches for supper. After supper is finished, we have a tradition of watching "The Nativity Story." The scene of Jesus' birth sends a chill up my spine and a tear to my eye every time ... to see a visual reenactment of what the GOD of the Ages actually DID do for us — came in human flesh, was born in the humblest conditions—for us, and later died and gave His life--for us, for me. Wow! I marvel once again how the prophecies that had been told for generations of Messiah's birth were all fulfilled. It reminds me that God always keeps and never fails His word. I sometimes wonder what it would've been like have been Mary. Can you imagine being a teenager betrothed to be married, and being visited by an angel & told that the baby you are carrying inside of you is the promised Messiah, and He has been CONCEIVED by the Holy Spirit? Would I have the trust and faith in the Lord to actually believe that? (And Mary simply replied, "Be it unto me according to Thy word." What submission to God's will!) Or I think about all humiliation Mary would've experienced by the comments and gossip spread by everyone around. Then I think of Joseph, and just imagine how he must've felt. I marvel at how when he doubted if he should marry Mary, the Lord came to him and told him to "not be afraid." It reminds me that even when I am uncertain of God's will for MY life, God can reassure me of it, and tell me, "Do not be afraid."

... So back to what I was saying about Christmas Eve! If there's spare time after we watch the movie, we all (Yes — ALL 9 of us) squeeze into a vehicle and drive around neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights.

Early Christmas morning the youngest members of our family are already waiting in the living room by the Christmas tree... sporting their pajama fashions, sleep ruffled hair, and all. Some of us older ones take advantage of sleeping in a bit, getting dressed, and looking presentable... much to the younger members dismay. ;-) When we all are finally gathered together, my father reads the Christmas story (Luke 1 and other various passages). Dad then begins singing "happy birthday" to Jesus, but I have to admit that I kind of mumble... It makes me feel like a little toddler in toddler Sunday School class. ;) [Yes, I'm so bad..] :p After the last note is sung, someone pipes up in the family, "Can we open presents now??" And it all begins. Flying bows, shreds of wrapping paper, and happy shrills.

Late morning, around 11am or so, our family enjoys a big breakfast brunch: apple cider (or hot cocoa for some), scrambled eggs, bacon, little sausages, cinnamon rolls, and a special Christmas bread.

We always have our big Christmas dinner around 6-7pm. My family fixes turkey for Christmas, instead of ham. I guess you could say our Christmas dinner is just like Thanksgiving! But instead of pumpkin pie, we have chocolate pie for dessert.

Well, there's a peak into a usual Cross family Christmas!

I'm not gonna lie, this year, it doesn't FEEL like Christmas. Perhaps because there's no snow. Perhaps it's because I have a cold, my nose is incredibly stuffed up, and I'm coughing my lungs up. Perhaps it's because there is no one special close by, and I feel like a hermit. But whether I feel like it or not, it IS Christmas, and I'm jumping in with both feet! (Maybe a giant mug of hot chocolate, and a little more gratefulness will help.) ;)

Wishing you all a fabulous Christmas Eve and a very happy & merry Christmas!


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