Merry Christmas!

After all the waiting, all the anticipation, all the hope, Christmas is finally upon us. Yesterday, my mother came over, and we baked all day while we laughed, and talked, and drank pots of tea. We made dinner rolls, potatoes au gratin, gingersnaps, and a traditional cookie for my family called Ribbon cookies (which are layers of poppy seed, chocolate with pecans, and cherries in the dough). So delicious.
The doorbell rang unexpectedly at noon, bringing my father with a bag full of steaming pastrami and corned beef sandwiches from Schmaltz’s deli. “Oh, good!” I said, “you brought us some bagels for the Christmas tree!” We love to joke, my dad and I, and we don’t mean to be disrespectful to anyone in the process. The three of us sat around the table with coffee, and joyfully shared the sandwiches in the middle of a gray Friday afternoon.

The point is, for me? Christmas is made of these times, these surprises, these unexpected gifts of time. Like when my son showed up to my classroom on Tuesday with McDonald’s for lunch. He was an hour and a half early, but he sat and talked with the kids, and what matters is that he came. For me.
I don’t really care about the presents under the tree. All the food is nice, all the parties are fun, all the sighs of relief when everything is prepared are so satisfactory. But, the best parts of Christmas are the moments with my loved ones. The time to be quiet. The knowledge that our Saviour has come. For us.
God bless you today, tomorrow and for all of 2012.

(Loved the collection of little trees which can be found here.)

34 thoughts on “Merry Christmas!”

  1. Thanks for sharing your family special times with us. It's very heartwarming and can hear your love for them through your words. I'm missing my folks a bit, but have the comfort of knowing that both of them are in a far better place. Hugs to you at this special time! Merry Christmas and may all of 2012 be filled with joy and hope and lots of good books! LOL


  2. You're right–those are the exact things we celebrate this holiday season. I hope your weekend (and the coming year) is filled with many more happy memories just the same. Merry Christmas!


  3. Ah, wonderful! Christmas is made of those moments, you are so right.

    I wish you and yours the very merriest of Christmas Days. I hope you did get some wonderful presents under the tree and I hope your entire day is filled with joy.


  4. Time with family will always be the greatest gift, I agree. It sounds like you had an amazingly special day! I think we might need to hear a little more about those Ribbon cookies as well… 🙂 Merry Christmas to you as well, Belleza! I've enjoyed the blogging year with you! Blessings to you and yours in 2012!


  5. Merry Chritmas to you and your family, Bellezza! I too love the moment after the hectic present giving and unwrapping when we all plop dwn on the couch and just enjox being together 🙂


  6. Bellezza, I love your tree. A lot of thought and effort went into it. I pulled out our old tree with old lights and trimmings, the first tree I've put up since we became empty nesters. It has a lot of sentiments and memories. Have a Happy Sunday!


  7. (Harvee, I'd love to say that was our tree, but it isn't. It comes from a collection of little trees I saw on line. Our actual tree is little, to be sure, and it's filled with red ornaments among others, but it isn't as 'perfect' as the one in the picture. Perfect is so highly overrated. 😉

    There's something much more beautiful about the traditional things which bring back memories of when our children were small.


  8. Bellezza, thank you for visiting my blog today! You asked if I was hosting any Bible-related challenges/events next year. I wanted to let you know that I am planning another Read-the-New-Testament-In-a-Week event this spring–the week before Easter. And I am hosting Operation Deepen Faith.


  9. Becky, thank you for getting back to me so quickly on my question. I'm looking forward to the New Testament before Easter (as I believe we did last year, too?) and I've signed up for Operation Deepen Faith. (See my Challenges in 2012 page, too.) Great ideas! Wonderful to have a Christian book blogger buddy such as yourself.


  10. Christmas Trees – Robert Frost

    A Christmas Circular Letter
    The city had withdrawn into itself
    And left at last the country to the country;
    When between whirls of snow not come to lie
    And whirls of foliage not yet laid, there drove
    A stranger to our yard, who looked the city,
    Yet did in country fashion in that there
    He sat and waited till he drew us out
    A-buttoning coats to ask him who he was.
    He proved to be the city come again
    To look for something it had left behind
    And could not do without and keep its Christmas.
    He asked if I would sell my Christmas trees;
    My woods—the young fir balsams like a place
    Where houses all are churches and have spires.
    I hadn't thought of them as Christmas Trees.
    I doubt if I was tempted for a moment
    To sell them off their feet to go in cars
    And leave the slope behind the house all bare,
    Where the sun shines now no warmer than the moon.
    I'd hate to have them know it if I was.
    Yet more I'd hate to hold my trees except
    As others hold theirs or refuse for them,
    Beyond the time of profitable growth,
    The trial by market everything must come to.
    I dallied so much with the thought of selling.
    Then whether from mistaken courtesy
    And fear of seeming short of speech, or whether
    From hope of hearing good of what was mine,
    I said, “There aren't enough to be worth while.”

    “I could soon tell how many they would cut,
    You let me look them over.”
    “You could look. But don't expect I'm going to let you have them.”
    Pasture they spring in, some in clumps too close
    That lop each other of boughs, but not a few
    Quite solitary and having equal boughs
    All round and round. The latter he nodded “Yes” to,
    Or paused to say beneath some lovelier one,
    With a buyer's moderation, “That would do.”
    I thought so too, but wasn't there to say so.
    We climbed the pasture on the south, crossed over,
    And came down on the north.
    He said, “A thousand.”
    “A thousand Christmas trees!—at what apiece?”

    He felt some need of softening that to me:
    “A thousand trees would come to thirty dollars.”

    Then I was certain I had never meant
    To let him have them. Never show surprise!
    But thirty dollars seemed so small beside
    The extent of pasture I should strip, three cents
    (For that was all they figured out apiece),
    Three cents so small beside the dollar friends
    I should be writing to within the hour
    Would pay in cities for good trees like those,
    Regular vestry-trees whole Sunday Schools
    Could hang enough on to pick off enough.
    A thousand Christmas trees I didn't know I had!
    Worth three cents more to give away than sell,
    As may be shown by a simple calculation.
    Too bad I couldn't lay one in a letter. I can't help wishing I could send you one,
    In wishing you herewith a Merry Christmas.


  11. I hope your Christmas has been everything you looked for in it, and your break a welcome respite from looking to the needs of our short friends. Wishing you happiness in the now and the new year!


  12. I hope you had a lovely Christmas, dear friend. I had fun perusing all those Christmas tree photos, tucking ideas away for future decorating ideas.

    Thanks you for my lovely star. It will go in my collection of favorite ornaments, but for now it hangs above my computer on my bulletin board.

    Here's to a peaceful New Year!


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