Sunday, December 28, 2008

Joy to the World

I really felt a strong sense of the Christmas spirit this year. I love Christmas, so it's not surprising in that sense. But for some reason as we anticipated His birth-day this year my excitement mounted. Not in the gifts I was giving but in what it might have been like to be a magi who watched the signs of the prophets and the stars or the shepherds who had heard the prophecies yet they were actual witnesses of His coming that had been foretold centuries before. As we listened to the Christmas carol, "Sussex Carol" by the King's Singers and the MOTAB I got chills of excitement. The Savior, the Son of God was born--do we really rejoice that He lived? I wonder if we get so bogged down in our worries and busyness we forget to feel that joy. The joy the angels sang that night. Each day we should consciously rejoice in Him for he offers us so much, peace and salvation.

Our Christmas Eve was much mellower (is that a word) than usual. We usually get together with our Louw extended family and have a scrumptious, almost gourmet dinner and a white elephant exchange. Because our numbers are ever growing we decided to not to do it this year. We had had a reunion in August and two weddings my cousin Gwen and my brother Keith so we had visited then too.

Anyway, we ate a simple meal on a blanket in the basement--crusty bread, cheese, summer sausage, nuts, fruit and sparkling drink (I got the idea from a story in the Ensign or New Era). We lit lots of candles and dimmed the lights. We listened to the music of the Kings Singers and TAB as we ate. Then we read Amahl and the Night Visitors (the magi). It was a bit too long but other than that it gave us that great simple feeling of the time.

Then we opened one present which is always pjs. It's fun even though it's not a surprise--I actually forgot to wrap Tim's!
Owell. I have a friend who color coordinates their pjs--that's way too organized for me! Tim said that he thinks I am capable of such a thing! Then the little ones wanted to go to bed so Santa could come. But they were so excited they didn't get to sleep until about 10:30 PM 2-1/2 hours after they went to bed! The three oldest worked on a gingerbread house kit my mom gave us. The little boys could have joined in but they insisted they wanted to go to bed. Then we sent them all to bed and got going on helping Santa. Luckily we had organized and wrapped the night before it still took Tim 3 hours to help Santa with Gwen's kitchen. I watched the actual concert of the King Singers with MOTAB and A Lutheran College Christmas Concerts while filling the stockings. Then I watched the movie The Nativity that came out a couple of years ago in the theaters--it was very good but a little scary for kids that's why I previewed it! We were beat when we finally got to bed at 3 AM!


andrea said...

It sounds like you had a great Christmas. I wish mine had been quieter and I had been less would've helped me really get into the spirit of it all. As it was, I felt like Christmas sneaked up on me, and now am surprised it's over and wonder how that happened?!

We got to bed around 3 AM as well....ugh! Talk about sleep deprivation! :)

The Cranes said...

2 a.m. for us. It seems like no matter how much you think you did ahead of time so it won't be as late, it still takes forever. Even this year when we cut back and the number of presents was greatly diminished from usual (not that it felt like a small Christmas!) I did a dinner like that with a family on my mission. They called it a "journey dinner"--eating what Joseph and Mary would have eaten on their journey.