It's Sunday night, all the boxes and wrap are back in the attic, the gifts all carried away to new homes, the feast is dwindling and able to fit nicely into plastic containers, and another Christmas celebration has come and gone in the Russell home.
Our middle son's girlfriend had her first "American" Christmas. It was so much fun to give her gifts (from Santa) and from us and to watch her amazement at all the crazy chaos involved in our holiday traditions. Our oldest son and his fiance' actually spent the night (even though they only live 15 minutes away) so they could be here when we all woke in the morning. In fact, they woke first (MIRACLE!) and made us yummy Vietnamese coffee with biscotti for us to enjoy while the stockings were unpacked. And my mom was here too. It is just not the same when she is not able to be here for our holiday celebrations. Hubby, Daughter, and I, all relished in having a "full house" for Christmas. I love the sounds of everyone laughing, the cooking, and even the cleaning. The music is constant and the lights twinkle all day and all night. It's so magical.
But it's not perfect. I still get tired and cranky when I feel like I am doing too much. I still feel disappointed if things are not perfect and still take too much responsibility in trying to make sure everyone is happy. What? It's not just like Norman Rockwell?
It is what it is though, and although we aren't the perfect family, there is a lot of love going on at this time of year - and all through out.
So, I will spend the next few days (weeks?) thinking of ways that I can stream line the celebration process now that our family is expanding. Eight people on Christmas morning is a lot of presents...and food...and showers, blow dryers, towels, ....
That's what this whole thing is about. Love.
God so loved the world ...