Friday, December 14, 2012

Creating Joy at Christmas

Light brings Joy.
I love lining the Dining Room with Christmas lights.  Sometimes the boys argue about who gets to turn them on in the morning.  I don't really like the arguing part, but it gives you a sense about how much joy this gives us. 

Memories brings Joy.
The boys think my love of this little angel is weird.  I don't care.
My dad used to work as a bookkeeper/ accountant for a trucking company when I was a little girl.  Sometimes he'd bring home a toy or doll or something that came off one of the trucks.  I don't remember when he brought this angel home (I'm fairly sure it was before I had memories), but I do remember every year getting excited to take her out of her box, gently having a minute or two to hold her, and watching Mom hang her from the light in the foyer of our home.  She has  a sweet little pudgy baby belly, a golden crown, and the most delicate wings.  I know it looks like she had a below the knee amputation on the left leg, there, but it is actually just wrapped behind her right leg.
I used to cry when it was time to put her away each year.  I admit that I cried when my parents passed her down to me, and I could place her in my own home.  And, I'll admit that one year I totally forgot to put her away until about June.  Those silly boys make fun of me, but I don't care.  

 Simplicity bring me Joy.  
I have always loved simple, uncluttered decorating (though you wouldn't know if you looked around my house right now!).  At Christmas, nothing bring me greater joy than to set out simple candles in the window.  One year, I lined the front windows with white lights.  It stressed me out, however, because there were cords and plugs everywhere.  No, just give me simplicity, please.  Then I can breathe.

 My Children bring me Joy.
This year, Levi had some definite ideas about decorating outside with lights.  He explained to Daddy what he wanted, how he wanted it done, and then worked with Dave to accomplish his goal.  Our little Japanese red maple tree was the object of his wishes, and it brings me such joy to see him accomplish what he set out to do.  

Celebrating Jesus brings me Joy.
I think we have been reading Arnold Ytreeide's triology for 7 years or so.  The books include Jotham's Journey, Bartholomew's Passage, and  Tabitha's Travels.  If I had a million dollars I would buy a set of these for everybody I know.  Truth.
Ben was probably in 1st grade when we read through our first of the books; now Levi is in 1st grade.  Our Advent tradition involves a nightly reading from one of these adventure stories -- all which culminate in the 10- or 11-year-old protagonist's witnessing of the Christ child's birth.  
I cry each year.
I will admit that Ben's initial reaction to pulling out Jotham's Journey this year was less than enthusiastic (I mean, I think this is the third time we've read this book!).  He rallied, however, and has been patiently listening like his brothers.  
When we first started the books, I didn't read a majority of the devotions that accompany each night's cliffhanger.  It was when Ben was about 10 that I started making sure to read them.

What brings you joy during Christmas?

To read how other Schoolhouse Crew members celebrate and remember Christmas, you can visit our Crew Blog Cruise!


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