I love the magic of Christmas. I love that my kids believe in that magic. I love that they believe that Grandpa dressed in a red suit is santa and that he and Grandma give them each a bag with an orange and peanuts and maybe a small gift. They know that mom and dad are “helpers” of sorts and I love that it's magic to them. I love the nativity scenes on my mantel and in our play room. I love that baby Jesus is at the center of each of them. Even when the kids rearrange them to play, Jesus always remains in the center.
I love my prelit tree. And I love the red apron around the bottom with my kids' handprints from each Christmas since 2002. I love that my kids are excited to put their handprints on for 2010. I love all the ornaments on my tree. Lots of Christmas flowers and all the ornaments my kids have made. Nursery. Preschool. Kindergarten. All the grades. Cub scouts. I love those ornaments. I love the angel on top of our tree. And I love my pine scented candle.
I love the smells of baking. The plates we put together for neighbors (hopefully this weekend). I love the things our neighbors bring. Not so much that it's something to eat, but that they thought of us. I love having wonderful neighbors and friends. I love all the Christmas cards on my wall. I hang each one after I open it and read it. I love listening to Christmas music in stores and in the car.
I love the family time we have together. Going to see Christmas lights. Going to a movie. Going to Grandma and Grandpa's or Abbie and Poppy's houses. Choosing and wrapping the gifts for the Ward Angel Tree. Discussing our friend-family's upcoming trip to Mexico to build and donate time and things and giving them what we can to help. I love making sure my kids have some change in hand to put in the Salvation Army can outside the door. I love hot cocoa and marshmallows and candy canes. I love my kids planning a Christmas Family Home Evening and then doing a fantastic job. I love watching Luke 2 and seeing the newborn Jesus in Mary's arms. And I cry because at the same time we see that wonderful moment, we can hear the flies. They are in a stable afterall.
I love the expected traditions of all those things above and I am excited at the new traditions we will start this year. I love that Christmas this year isn't about big and expensive gifts for extended family. It's service and fun and just simple things done. And spending precious time together.
I love that we recognize our Savior's birth. He was born. He lived. He suffered. He died. He lives. On that one night 2000 years ago, our lives began. The King of Kings was born in a manger. And He brought with Him, Hope, Joy, Peace and Life. Oh how I love this time of year.