Christmas past in our household has always been pretty much a Walton Christmas. We were a good-size family with our children close together in age. At one point, we had 4 children under the age of 8. And we didn't have much in the bank because we chose to be a one-income family. I loved being at home with my children, but that meant we didn't have a lot to spend on them for Christmas. But I only have happy memories of those years, and so do my children. The excitement in the house every year made it such a happy, hectic time. And we created traditions that the kids grasped onto and fiercely protected year in and year out. Heaven help the person who dared break from tradition and do something different! We had to bake the same treats each year, decorate the same way, serve the same meal, etc., etc....
But I loved every minute of it.
And now The Four have grown up, and we only have one child in the house. And it's lovely, but not quite the same. I feel like E. is missing out on something.
But this weekend, it all came back. Our middle child, T. and his wife moved out of state this fall, which nearly broke my heart. They have two little ones, and we have been missing them something awful, of course. But they came back to visit for Christmas. Not only for Christmas, but for the WHOLE WEEKEND! So E. got the whole Walton Christmas experience. The excitement building up for 2 days, whispering secrets behind closed doors, wrapping gifts in the next room, the heavenly smells of cooking meals and baking treats drifting through the house. Little children running and screaming through the house all day long, filled with anticipation (and sugar).
Each morning, there would be little footsteps coming up the stairs, accompanied by the not-so-quite voices calling "Nana!". Then I would hear the bedroom door close again, as their mother and father would try to grab a few more minutes of sleep. Which was fine with me - I was usually just waiting for them to get up anyway. Then they would both climb on my lap and we did jig-saw puzzles on the computer for a while - not an easy thing to do with 2 little wiggly toddlers! But they had my attention for the whole day, and they took full advantage of it ;)
And I loved every minute of it.
This is how a 2-year old says Merry Christmas in our house: Merry Kibbus! And this is how he says Happy Birthday Jesus: Happy Burtday Jingas!
Christmas morning, checking out the stockings - totally the best! Everything in your stocking is SO COOL, doesn't matter what it is :) That doesn't happen when you're a teen or pre-teen, now does it?
So, I guess there is one good thing about having this little family of ours move away. If they hadn't moved away, then they wouldn't be spending the whole weekend with us. What a blessing.
On Christmas Eve, the WHOLE family came over, all of our children, their spouses and their babies - that's a houseful! What fun. I honestly don't remember what was in the gifts - it was just so much fun having everyone here. After all of the gifts were opened, the littles decided to shred all of the wrapping paper and swim in it. What a mess, but they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I'll be picking up scraps of wrapping paper for days, I'm sure :)
I feel as if things are coming full circle. This is what life is all about.
And I'm loving every minute of it.