This will be a different Christmas...and that's OK.
There are no lights up at our house.
There is no Christmas tree.
There are no out-of-town visitors, no family, no festivities planned. Instead we have a family room packed with extra furniture and 2 empty rooms - because of the construction.
And that's Ok - this year!
When Gabrial and Emily got married, I asked Gabe to please coordinate with Lindsey and Donnie so I had both of them the same 'every other Christmas.' They did...and I am grateful. When Joshua and Erica got married, I asked Joshua to coordinate with his brother and sister so I would have all of them the same 'every other Christmas.' They did...and I am grateful.
This is their 'inlaw Christmas' and that makes me happy. Not because I won't be spending Christmas with them, but because they are all doing what Ron and I raised them to be doing.
Ron and I have been blessed with loving each others' families...and our families enjoying being with each other. When our kids got married, it dawned on me that they might think it was natural that both sides of families would get along so well. I remember talking to Lindsey - since she got married first - talking to her about loving Donnie's family, about loving the differences, appreciating them.
We have always gone to Texas for most of our Christmas vacations. On the years of the kids' 'inlaw Christmas,' Ron and I have still gone. But not this year. We were there for Thanksgiving for 9 days...and with the house construction too... and not enough time off from work for Ron... well, we're staying here.
It's harder because of our parents - it's hard not to be spending the holidays with them. My mom nailed it about 2 weeks ago. She called and asked me what I wanted for Christmas. It kind of surprised me and I said I really didn't know, hadn't even thought about it. She said she hadn't really thought about it either since 'our Christmas was when we were all together over Thanksgiving...for Addison and Kasi's wedding.'
I try to never forget the reason we have this Christmas season...celebrating the birth of Christ. This was the ultimate gift...
I think about this...about family...about giving-not just gifts but giving of ourselves.
So this Christmas, Ron and I will reflect on how thankful we are for the gifts we have received. There are so many, and we are so grateful...so blessed.