Merry Christmas from the Family of Fish!
The six stockings were hung by the chimney with care, the birthday cake for Jesus was ready for His celebration, the presents were piled high beneath the tree we hadn't watered in over a week, and the kids were about to emerge from their rooms.
It was 7:15 Christmas morning, and as I looked at our soon-to-be-chaotic living room, I smiled. My quiver, and my mantel, are full. And I could not wait to celebrate our Savior's birthday with all the precious little ones He's given us.
The day turned out better than I had hoped. We enjoyed a yummy easy breakfast before letting the kids dump their stockings out and inspect their loot--puzzles, slinkies and way too much candy for the 3 oldest, and a little lion for our little Levi to play with and chew on. Then it was into the car and off to deliver cinnamon rolls for the neighbors to enjoy. Next year, we might wait a little later, as we learned that not all of our neighbors are excited to have little kids bearing baked goods ringing their doorbell at 9:00 on Christmas morning. Oops.
Back home again, the kids had to be reminded that they were getting more than just puzzles and candy for Christmas. As soon as they realized all those boxes under the tree had stuff in them, they were ready to roll.
Caleb, ever the sweetie, was our thankful one this year. Every time he found one of his boxes, Abby would read off who it was from and he would thank the giver before he'd even unwrapped the gift. And then he'd hug whoever was closest after it was open.
Jacob was more enthusiastic about the removal of bows and ribbons and wrapping paper than anything else. In true two-year-old fashion, he had no concept of turn taking and no respect for gift ownership. In his mind, everything new was his, every sticker was his to remove, and everything wrapped was his to unwrap. I place on him alone full blame for the fact that we spent most of the afternoon playing a rousing game of "Who Gave Us That?"
Abby, as usual, was diligent about overseeing the proper taking of turns when it came to opening presents. I'm convinced she had a spreadsheet somewhere that she was consulting to keep up with all the presents being opened, but I can't prove it. She both loved and was intensely frustrated with every new thing she got. The labyrinth ball was a great exercise in patience and not being able to solve problems immediately. The miniature pink piano was, to her great dismay, proof that she is no maestro when it comes to tickling the ivories. At naptime, she retreated to her room to master both these skills, mostly to prove us wrong when we told her that she's not going to be great at anything the first time she tries it. And prove us wrong, she will, I'm sure. That's just Abby.
Levi, too, received a few small toys for his first Christmas. A few trucks that he's sharing with his brothers until he's older have been added to his stash, along with some new baby toys that haven't already been chewed on by three previous babies, and a cute little stuffed lion from his mom and dad, because that seems to be the animal we're pushing on this one.
Family stopped by for lunch, and after dinner we had our traditional Happy Birthday Jesus party, complete with peppermint chocolate cake. And in no time at all, the day was over, and the children were nestled all snug in their beds again. It was a blessed day and a great celebration, and all the kids (except for Levi) went to bed humming "Hark the herald angels sing! Glory to the newborn king!" their new favorite Christmas carol. It was a sweet symphony for us to enjoy as they fell asleep and we cleaned up, and a wonderful reminder of what the day was all about.
"Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
'Glory to the newborn King!'"