Thursday, December 24, 2009


"Write it down, when I have perished:
Here is everything I've cherished;
That these walls should glow with beauty
Spurred my lagging soul to duty;
That there should be gladness here
Kept me toiling, year by year...
Every thought and every act
Were to keep this home intact."
--Edgar A. Guest

Eve. Quite possibly the best night of the year - still.

It's interesting how things change as you get older... At one time, I just couldn't wait to open presents! Now, I can't wait for church. I couldn't wait to stay up as late as I could! Now, I can't wait for my whole family to be busily preparing their food in the kitchen, together. I used to think the bigger or more expensive the gift, the better. Now, it's the thoughtful gifts that bring joy! And it's when family members can't be with you, that you realize how deeply loved and missed they are...

We will light the candle in honor of my sister tonight (who is far away in Alaska with her family). We will put on our favorite Christmas music. We will go to church (my church, this year - that's a first!) and laugh with the children, hear that familiar story once again, and end with a candle-lit "Silent Night." We will eat our favorite appetizers and open gifts one-by-one. We will ooo and aaaaahh, laugh and tease. The fire will be lit in the fireplace, and the soft glow of candles will make the night seem magical. We will take delight in seeing each other's reactions to our gifts, and some of us will end up doing a crazy scavenger hunt to get a gift!

...And we will sneak off to bed, with visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads. The snow will continue to fall with big, heavy, flakes - blanketing the quiet night with beauty.... The best night of the year.

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Being safe and warm during a snow storm.
2. The beauty of the snow.
3. Having all my gifts wrapped and under the tree.
4. My family going to church with me.
5. My church - it feels like home to me.
6. Our favorite Christmas Eve appetizers - those once a year treats!
7. Delight at fun, thoughtful gifts.
8. A scavenger hunt - tricky tricky!
9. New, Christmas pjs!
10. Skyping with my sister's family - so fun!

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