Our First Christmas

Our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs. was not unlike our other Christmases spent together. We spent time with my family, drove home and spent time with his. There is something about the familiarity that is comforting, down to the decorations I see from year to year.

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After such a whirlwind of a year, the familiarity felt good. New traditions, namely Shane and I driving here and there for different meet ups, easily nestled into the old.

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Gathering around the table, over foods we have each year, my red sausage soup, my grandma’s plum pudding, Val’s potato casserole, shared with new stories and new laughs, all comforting.

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There were gifts under the tree, but being together bested any gift wrapped up in paper or tucked in a bag. Though it was fun to watch the kids open gifts, Marcus being in a very sincere phase and was ever so thankful for everything.

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James 1:17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

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The kids were soaking up the attention, and it is always fun to see so many generations interact. Even though we are all family, and it is to get expected, it is interesting to think of how little time is spent together by such a wide age range.

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Joanna was especially thrilled when her two little brothers went down for a nap midday and she got to spend that time icing cookies with me. In the evening she presented them to everyone on a plate offering them their choice of color. When her mom took one, she said, with her eyebrow raised, “But Mamma, there is a purple one?” So her mom changed her choice to purple.

This year, Shane and I got my dad a ukulele. It was something that had been on the back of my mind to get him for a while, and we finally did it. A new sound to echo in my parents home, now to mingle with the familiar.

Soon, our first Christmas would end, and we would head up to New England for our first New Years as a married couple. I’m so thankful for our beautiful Christmas and I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

 

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Passing the Love Along

To start off our season of giving, I was inspired to take home a tag from the giving tree that was set up at our gym. I spun the tree round and round, and a bright orange tag caught my eye. It isn’t so much the blazing orange that grabbed my attention, but what the child had requested.

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Construction paper and a fishing pole were the items printed in black and white under the capital M, age 10. I smiled when I saw those two words. How perfect for Shane and I, construction paper up the art alley, and a fishing pole. I sent Shane on the mission of finding the fishing pole, which he did, and I collected the construction paper and a wooden fish that came with paints.

I couldn’t help but in my heart to sort of dedicate this gift as a memorial to Scott in a way. Shane and him love fishing, and to pass on that love for the outdoors, well, it just seemed like a perfect fit this year to honor his late friend. I dropped the gift off, unwrapped like requested, but built a narrative in my mind of what that little ten year old would think on Christmas morning getting to unwrap something he asked for.

The same day and place I dropped off the giving tree gift, I ran into a pop-up art show. It was a delightful surprise, and though the pieces weren’t all necessarily seasonal pieces, it just added to my afternoon of Christmas cheer. After having been involved in the local art scene back in my hometown, this was a sweet discovery for me and hopefully a future outlet I can participate in.

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All of this coincided with the beautiful, thoughtful Christmas bouquet my dear Shane had gotten me the day before. It was a fan of red, greens and white bursting out of a seasonal coffee mug with a sweet handwritten note on it. Feeling so thankful to have such a sweet man in my life inspired me to again pass the love along. So before I had headed out to deliver the fishing pole and happen upon the art show, I secretly sent a bouquet of flowers to be delivered to my mom who had just gone through surgery on her hand.

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Needless to say, it was easy for me to get excited when I got the text from her that she had received her Christmas bouquet. All in all I had a Friday bursting with love, and it was easy to share as I ran my errands, smiling at strangers, helping someone find a spirograph, delivering two secret gifts, one to the giving tree child and the other to my mom, and enjoying other folk’s art.

So now I pass the love along to you by leaving you with this verses from 1 Corinathians 13 to help inspire you in passing on the love this holiday season.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 I may be able to speak the languages of men and even of angels, but if I do not have love, it will sound like noisy brass. If I have the gift of speaking God’s Word and if I understand all secrets, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I know all things and if I have the gift of faith so I can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give everything I have to feed poor people and if I give my body to be burned, but do not have love, it will not help me.