Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Report on a Blessed Christmas

We had a lovely Christmas! Here were some of the highlights:

On Christmas Eve we went to Jason's uncle's house for dinner and presents. It was fun watching Hannah and her 2 year old twin girl cousins run around and play together in their Christmas dresses. Jason's family opens their presents like a bunch of neanderthals, and I say that affectionately. After being raised in a family that opens presents very orderly and by age (youngest going first) I still am not used to the joyful chaos that occurs once "present time" has been announced. One can get lost in the sea of wrapping paper and bows and the shouted "Thank you's" enveloping the room.

After that, we left to go to church. We were early and tried to take a nap in the car to no success, but there were already a bunch of people there so we took our time visiting the bookstore and making our pit stops, went inside and made it for much of Orthros. Neither Jason or myself new how long the Liturgy would be, or if there would be Communion or not. But it was LOOOOONG. But very good too! It was so beautiful. The church was adorned with lovely flowers and seeing everyone there at such a late hour with their sleepy, sweet children was very special. It was nice to hear the Liturgy being sung in a Major again, and added to the joy of the evening. It was so joyful that I found myself relishing every moment while I was there. I had peace and a satisfaction that this is how the Lord has been worshipped for centuries. I didn't need my comfy chair, an overly produced church service/rock concert, or even familiarity, to make me know that Jesus Christ was with me, and this was the night He came humbly to the earth with a purpose to conquer death.

Hannah slept through the majority of everything, we got her stroller so she could continue sleeping during the feast. We had a meal of very rich food, made lovingly by parishioners full of all the dairy and meat products every one had missed during the fast. I got a bit of everything, but could have had two plates of a delicious Greek salad. By the time we were all at the table enjoying the company and the food, Hannah sat up and had the most sour expression and started flailing her hands at us all, saying "NO!" at least 25 times. I think I was so tired I actually pointed and laughed at her. No, more like I pointed and howled at her. It was just far too past my bed time to be the patient, loving, and concerned parent I normally strive to be. Jason ended up picking her up and doing something to make her come around. She eventually lightened up when I shoved a bunch of chocolate milk and sweets in her face. She especially loved going to the dessert table to pick out something. Her favorite was a wonderful berry cobbler. Yum! It was my favorite too. That and the decadent cheesecake with the oreo cookie crust, with chocolate chips through out.

By the time we got home it was 3 AM. We apologized to the dog for the neglect all day, and collapsed into bed. Being the early riser I am, I couldn't stay in bed any longer at about 8AM. I poked around the house, hoping my family would wake up. They did about 3 hours later. We opened our presents, then as quickly as possible got ready to go to my parent's house. Since I'm the more functioning person in the morning, I got all the stuff out of our car that was from the night before, and put all of the Christmas day presents in. We got to my parent's house, and my mom and dad served us some delicious pazole, a Mexican soup similar to menudo, but made with pork instead of tripe. It was so good, and just the thing for our tired bodies. We opened up presents, which was fun because my parents gave Hannah a rocking horse with animatronics that nays and gallops. She loves it and has played with it all day today. We loved spending time with my parents, some more of my family came over, and we enjoyed a meal outside, since it was a lovely 75 degree day (I know, not very Christmasy weather) but enjoyable nonetheless.

After that we went to Jason's step dad's side of the family. We don't normally go there, but Jason really likes them, and they always invite us so we thought we would make an effort. We decided this visit should last us at least four years (ha!). Once we got there we enjoyed seeing them all, and Hannah had fun too.

So overall, we had a wonderful Christmas. It was the first year I really didn't feel all that stressed out, and actually had gifts for everyone we needed to have gifts for wrapped before Christmas Eve. Our families, as usual spoiled us generously with really great presents. My only complaint was, that I wish Jason had today off. It would have been nice for just the three of us to have a quiet day at home. He really didn't want to go to work today, and I don't blame him. But I really appreciate him for going anyway. I tried to put toghether the play kitchen my inlaws got for Hannah, but couldn't get the blasted doors to go on. I gave up. So now I'm laundering new clothes, and wasting time on this blog. I think I 'll go to the store soon and make some tuna noodle casserole for dinner and get this house in order so we can at least enjoy our evening. Thank you Lord for a blessed Christmas! And in my new way to express my celebration of the birth of our Lord - Christ is Born! Glorify Him!


Blogger annie said...

Christ Is Born!
Glad you had such a beautiful service. I love that your Church does a late night Liturgy to ring in the Feast day. We had a vigil Saturday night followed by Liturgy Monday morning. We had a very nice Christmas as well, but I completely understand what you said about wanting a day with your husband and child only. I am looking forward to next weekend when Evan has new years day off and we have absolutely nothing planned. Enjoy the rest of your week, don't let the celebration end yet, it's just begun! ( I have to keep reminding myself of that).
God is with us!!!

2:04 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Christ is Born! I found your blog through Annie's and have enjoyed reading your posts. So glad to hear that you enjoyed the liturgy and, as Annie mentioned, it's great that your church has the evening service. I love that at Pascha. Your little one is so sweet (I have twin girls) and it will be a blessing to have another healthy babe join your home. Congratulations!

8:04 PM  

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