Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Good News

Tonight we had leftover Chinese food that Nate made for our Christmas Eve feast. We also had some leftover fortune cookies not made by Nate (for those of you who think he is actually a Renaissance Man). Cora's fortune read You will soon receive good news. She looked very hopeful and said, "What is the good news?" I answered that maybe the good news is that she'd get to read an extra book before bed, or perhaps that when she turns four, she'll become a real princess. She immediately dismissed the second suggestion, obviously finding it too fantastic to be true, and said "Yes! I think the good news is that we get to read an extra book!"

Later, after reading not only one but two extra books, she asked if she could get some more good news sometime soon. Oh Cora, how I love the things you say.

Christmas was really a joyful time this year. Peter is too young to have expectations about gifts, so he would have been pleased with one new car, truck OR ball, but instead he got one or two of each. The girls each wanted a doll and some books from the book fair, so that felt easy to deliver on. Louisa also wanted a Barbie house, which thankfully she hasn't mentioned in the 2 days since Christmas. Probably because she was surprised by a great gift from my mom: my old collection of trolls from when I was a kid. It was so fun to see the kids playing together with a toy that I remember so fondly.

The Chinese feast was at our new house! We hosted my parents, Nate's mom & brother and two of Nate's cousins. The celebration was perfect. Good food, snow ball fights after dinner and a quick game of Dutch Blitz before the twenty-somethings said they were too tired to carry on. I swear! I was up for playing all night, but they bowed out before 8 pm.

On Christmas day and the Monday after, we spent time at Marcia's. It was the same group pictured above, minus my parents (who flew to Africa), plus Pat and Georgia (who returned from Kansas). After a nice long walk with Marcia and Peter, I got engrossed in a jigsaw puzzle, which is atypical for me. Normally I can't sit still long enough. It must have been something in the air -- Nate also managed to capture the attention of 6 kids age 6 and under a games of Bugs in the Kitchen.

It felt strange not to see more of our siblings this year, but we enjoyed some Facetime with everyone: Anne & Andrew, Wren and Marian; Sarah & Dan, Oliver and Axel; John Paul & Grace, Cohen and Marin; and Matthew & Kelly.

I realized that traditions are fun, but so are unique experiences that might not ever be recreated in exactly the same way. I did find time to make my traditional Christmas cookies this year -- buckeyes and chewy double chocolate chip peppermint cookies, and Nate found time to drink lots of his (and the girls') traditional drink -- egg nog. We had many opportunities to reflect on why we celebrate Christmas - important reflections for us and our kids. If Christmas wasn't just two days ago, I would have told Cora the good news is that Jesus was born in Bethlehem for you (and me, and Dad, and Peter, and Louisa...). Of course that is the best news, and I know we can never fully appreciate just how good that news is. Merry Christmas to you!

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