Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas "Firsts"

The week between Christmas and New Year's is my favorite time of the season. With the excitement and joys of the preparation for and celebration of our Savior's birth behind me, I find the time I should have taken during Advent to reflect upon the meaning of that first Christmas when God's grace entered the world in the form of a helpless baby. No matter how many times I hear the story, each year I relish it with fresh perspective and wonder as if I am hearing it anew. In pondering the miracle of that first Christmas, it dawned on me that ours had been a Christmas of "firsts" where tradition and expectations took some surprising twists . . .

First first: Danny announced his official retirement from the
annual chore of assembling our Christmas tree. Giovanni accepted the challenge to set up the tree and he and I did most of the decorating of it and the living room. Thanks, kiddo; that was quite a job!

Second first: We celebrated Danny's and my Dad's birthdays together on the Saturday before Christmas (Danny's is on the 19th and Dad's is on Christmas Day). We had always held the party closer to Christmas in previous years, but choosing an earlier date proved to be much less stressful and a festive time was had by all.
Third first: Nicco showed absolutely no interest in the Advent calendar this year. I can recall when the boys would scrap and quarrel over whose turn it was to place the ornament on the tree!

Fourth first: I'm ashamed to admit it, but I hadn't made Christmas cookies or treats from scratch since Danny and I were married. This year, I chose not only to go the homemade route, but also to try two recipes I never have before: Grandmama Rose's decadent cream cheese sugar cookies and to-die-for cheese straws. Both demand an encore next year!
Fifth first: I have always wanted a Charlie Brown tree at Christmas, but never had one. Imagine my delight, then, when a friend surprised Danny and me with one as a Christmas gift! Such a lovely and unexpected present . . .

Sixth first: Snow on Christmas Day!!! This hasn't happened in Georgia with any accumulation since 1882. At long last, I can cease dreaming of a white Christmas because I've lived it!
Seventh first: This was my granddaughter, Virginia Rose's, first Christmas. I was certain she would find the lights on the tree and the sparkling ornaments entrancing, but there was absolutely, positively nothing that could have prepared me for this "first". As she sat with her mom and dad, I settled on the floor in front of her and presented her stocking. This was the look on her face!

Every object pulled from her stocking made her eyes light up and she reached eagerly for each one. Of course, her tiny hands guided each treasure to her mouth. As Nicco aptly noted, "Christmas for her is just one all-you-can-eat buffet."

These were our "firsts" this Christmas. If you and your family enjoyed some firsts, or simply have something about your Christmas to share, please leave a comment on the blog. I can't wait to read about what made this holiday special for you this year.

May your new year be filled with love, laughter, blessings, and "firsts"!

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