This was the first time in my 36 years that I've not celebrated the Savior's birth in Kentucky. Hubby said, as we were getting things ready for the children last night, "This is the first time I feel like a parent on Christmas Eve." Usually we wake up at his parents' house and follow the crowd. Last night we were planning to run the show. I hope that doesn't sound arrogant. But if you know me (or my man) you know how much we like to be in charge. :)
We let the kids open their "stockings" from the Majors grandparents - which was a jackpot of gum. The kids were over the moon excited. Especially Caroline. If she received nothing else for Christmas, her cup was running over. My parents had also mailed candy and gum, along with a much missed pair of JI's pajamas that we left there during Thanksgiving.
After the kids were in bed, Hubby built a manger to put under the tree from scrap fence wood. I found a baby to play Jesus in this manger then put the finishing touches on a scavenger hunt for our oldest. Just before heading upstairs, I remembered to hang the "Happy Birthday" banner.
I felt like a little kid. The thought of Christmas morning had me so excited that I couldn't go to sleep. Maybe it was the big pregnancy belly but once asleep, I couldn't stay asleep. At least I was in a comfy bed. Poor Mary was sleeping on the cold hard ground on the eve of her baby's birth.
We asked John Isaac to stay in his room until 7:30. What were we thinking? The excited boy was up at 6:30. We conceded and let him come downstairs early. He was so patient, not asking to open presents. He wanted to talk with us, talk about the day. This was his first time waking in Arkansas on Christmas morning, too. Breakfast would be cinnamon rolls that I'd frozen from last week; they were thawed and I quickly made more frosting. Hubby went to get Caroline so we could start our day as a family.
She had the classic sleepy head look as he carried her into the kitchen. I asked, "Do you know what today is?"
"Jesus' birfday!! Open presents!!"
Big brother showed her to the Christmas tree (where they like to fight over who gets to turn on the lights.)
Then she noticed the addition of the baby in the manger.
"Baby Jesus is here! Baby Jesus came to us! He's here! He came to us!"
It was so sweet I almost cried. Out of the mouths of babes come the most profound words. Yes, the King of kings came to us as a helpless baby.
Rolls were ready so we quickly scarfed down our sugary sweet. While eating, Hubby briefly tried to set the tone for the morning - talking about being grateful, that we would be talking about Jesus...not just presents. This is Jesus' day. We had 3 Adornaments that we would read about Jesus in between presents.
Walking back where the gifts were, Hubby grabbed his guitar and we began to sing "Joy to the World."
Hardly could I choke out the words because of what I saw. I'm tearing up now just thinking about it. Where was my camera at a time like this? Actually, it was such a holy moment for me, I was almost thankful that I didn't have the distraction of trying to capture the perfect image for posterity. Forever this scene will be etched in my mind.
It was innocent. Sweet. Worshipful, as I'd imagined the wise men would have responded as they viewed the Christ child two thousand years ago. She stared, almost in unbelief into the manger at the babe, wrapped in cloths. After a few holy seconds frozen in time, she reached out to caress his cheek.
Baby Jesus is here. He came to us.