It's Christmas Eve, hooray! Honestly, I can't help but feel a tiny bit homesick, for our families. But, I have to remind myself, this isn't forever. Hopefully someday we can be close enough to spend the holidays with our families.
There's still a lot to be said about Christmas and what it means to me. As I was driving in the car on the way to the grocery store yesterday Sophia and I were listening to my all-time favorite Christmas carol, "O Come O Come Emmanuel". I can't help but think how meaningful the words still are today. It talks about the world longing for a Savior, begging him to come and chase away the darkness of the world. "Disperse the gloomy clouds of night." And it culminates in the appearance of our Lord and Savior, "Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel has come to thee, O Israel." I cannot hear those words, and not rejoice, and maybe tear up a little. That's what we celebrate tonight. He came.
My thoughts are a little scattered, sorry. It's pretty hard, I think, as a Christian, to explain these things, I guess.
Another random Christmas memory...when I was little, my Great Grandma, my dad's Grandma, began a tradition of sending my brothers and I McDonalds gift certificates for Christmas. Five dollars, back then that was enough for two Happy Meals. Or when we were teenagers, several large orders of french fries. She continued to send them to us, every year, without fail, probably until we were grown-ups. I don't exactly remember when it stopped. But the tradition began anew when I had Elijah. I think she waited until the Christmas he was old enough to actually eat real food. When the five dollar giftcard came in the mail for him the Christmas of 2007 I laughed. My Great Grandma passed away in the fall of 2008, at 92. She met Elijah once, when he was a little baby, at her 90th birthday party. He was her first great-great grandchild, Sophia would have been her second. That Christmas I got a card in the mail from her daughter, my Great Aunt Carol. Inside was a five dollar McDonalds giftcard and a note saying grandma had asked her to send it. I'm not going to lie, it made me cry.
And this just proves what we have always known, or should know. It's the little things. The things that might seem insignificant and minute, that we remember. Those are the memories we cherish as we grow older. It's always been strange to me, the things we choose to hold onto or remember. You don't always get to choose your memories from your childhood, it's almost as if they chose you. I'm glad this is one that will continue, I'm thankful for the memory of my Great Grandma and the way she always remembered us at Christmas (she had at least a dozen great grandkids). I'm thankful my aunt still continues this tradition.
This year we got two giftcards in the mail, one for Elijah and one for Sophia. And of course I teared up just a little, but I also smiled and remembered...