Wednesday, December 26, 2012

This Christmas...

After the confetti of wrapping paper scraps and pine needles are cleared away, what's remembered of this Christmas?

Fireworks at the parade.  Tina's Baptism.  Hosting our first Lifegroup Christmas get-together. 
Baking cookies with the kids.  #23.  Youth Progressive Dinner.  Christmas movies.  
Impromptu McGuffin pizza party.  Volunteering at the Community Christmas Celebration. 
Our annual No-presents presents day.    Holiday snacks at Grandma's and the annual reading of Luke 2.  Early morning, 9 am Hobbit movie, which led to a Lord of the Rings marathon.   Viewing Christmas lights, while singing carols.  Eggnog shakes.  Hiding presents, then forgetting where they are. 
Noah not yet outgrowing leaving cookies for Santa.  Silly string fight at Mom's Christmas breakfast. 
Joy Dare - #1000gifts.  A surprise sitting for our great nephew Liam.

But, for me, the highlight of the holidays in 2012 will be the way we shared a simple Christ-centered Christmas Eve night. 

Breaking tradition, as is how most of the day was spent, we attended our first candlelight service.

It is something I'd always wanted to do, but when the boys were young, 10:00 pm just seemed too late to venture out.  Calming two excited and hyper-ready to see Santa-kiddos at that hour of the night, didn't seem possible.  Someday we thought...

Time passes.  Lives change.  Children grow.

And we decided this was the year to start something new. 

In the dark sanctuary, one by one, four candles were lit, representing the love, hope, peace and Joy of Christ, and then, from the center, the Christ candle began to radiate light. 

One by one, each member of the church took in prayerful communion, lighting their small candle from the center.  Watching the darkness slowly fade, as a soft glow filled the room, tears found their way down my cheeks.  I was overcome with emotions. 

Speechless from the simplicity and beauty.  Prayerful for the pain still felt in missing Austin, and pausing to think of so many other families hurting this season.  Thankful for the birth of our Saviour.  Grateful for this blessed memory and beloved tradition for Christmases to come...


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