I can hardly believe Christmas is a short 5 days away.
In part, this is because I still sit here, in Tennessee, in my classroom, with students buzzing around me (by the way, wearing t-shirts and no jackets due to the 65+ degree weather).
At home, we have the tree up and all of the presents wrapped and gleaming beneath the lights. Frosty the Snowman has been a staple part of our TV rotation and we've been listening to Christmas music regularly, but I'm still having trouble settling and finding that Christmas feeling. I'm ready for snow and heavy jackets, or at least hats and mittens.
One of the wonderful things about having children is the ability to pass down traditions to them. I'm looking forward to a Christmas Eve service in which Whit will be able to sing some of the songs (Go, Tell it on the Mountain is one he actually knows!) and reading stories before bed. I'm also ready for Christmas cookies, plenty of busy time with family and friends and that ever-special Christmas morning experience, taken to a whole new level by watching the joy of children rather than experiencing it for yourself.
Still, we are trying to keep the true meaning of Christmas alive in our house. Whit recognized Baby Jesus before Santa and I try to remind him, in spite of presents, that the celebration is truly about the amazing gift that was given to the human race. It helps that Whit is wary of strangers and does not take kindly to the idea that some strange man is coming to his house even if he is planning to bring presents. I know it will be a battle over the coming years to separate the fulfillment of material desires from the gift of a Savior, but perhaps by teaching him at such a young age it will become the basis for his understanding of the holiday as he gets older.
5 days and counting.... our last Christmas as a family of 3!