Saturday, December 27, 2008


Christmas was busy, fun, memorable, and a little bit crazy. We were host to both our families this year, and there were a few wrinkles in the plan. First, the night before the Eve, Nathan had a stomach bug -- which, thankfully, no one else caught. We had a great conversation at 1:00 a.m., talking about how Christmas would still come, even if Nathan was sick. Then Nathan said, "Jesus knows exactly how I feel when I'm sick, because he was a boy once too." I loved that he thought of that all by himself.

The second wrinkle was the weather. It has been crazy here, varying between sub-zero temperatures and LOTS of snow. We didn't know when the safest time would be for my sister to make the two-hour drive. She ended up coming early, to do the driving between two snow storms -- hooray! An extra night with Aunt Alicia sleeping over. :o)

Our celebration began with my family on Christmas Eve. We gather in the afternoon while Peter is doing services at our church, then have a traditional turkey dinner. Afterward, we open presents, have dessert, and drink my sister's fabulous homemade rummy egg nog. Then my dad, mom and brother head off to midnight mass at their church.

On Christmas Day, it was our turn to host Peter's side of the family. We crammed 31 people into our house for a fun, loud, joyous celebration. In the evening, we all drove half an hour to his cousin Jason's (and new wife Robin's) house to meet up with more relatives. All the cousins played together so well throughout the day.

Peter, Anya Rashi and I ended up making an unexpected visit to the hospital in Jason's city. Our dear friend Molly's dad had emergency surgery on Christmas night, and since we were already in town we stopped by for a few minutes as they waited during the operation. It really is nothing short of a miracle that he got to the hospital in time and came through the surgery well. We are so grateful that God answered so many prayers and saved his life.

After that very full day, we added what we hope will be a new tradition this year: Peter's brother Dave and his family slept over on Christmas night, and we all had a pancake feast in the morning.

Anya Rashi was so excited about the presents this year -- and not only for herself! She spent all of the gift opening time taking packages from under the tree and handing them out (to anyone at all!). She was delighted with all the people, all the noise, and with her special clothes. It was really a joy to see how different she is this year compared to last year. She reveled in all the excitement, strutting through the house like it was all her idea. She made us smile especially whenever she saw a picture of Santa -- she says "Who, who, who!" instead of "Ho, ho ho!"

The shock, then the relief, of the news about Molly's dad reminded us how much we treasure the people we love. We were also reminded powerfully that the Gospel is still true in every circumstance. No matter what is happening in our lives, Christmas "came just the same," to paraphrase the Grinch. Whatever your circumstances are, we hope you feel God's love in very real ways during this blessed season.


Kristi W. said...

Merry Christmas! Glad Nathan is better and no one else caught the bug! :) What's with you and everyone else having Alaska weather???


Candice said...

Sounds like you all had a wonderful Christmas! I'm so glad that everyone is doing ok. We spent Christmas fighting a stomach bug also, but still enjoyed our friends and family. I love this time of year. :)


Tina and Todd said...

So glad you enjoyed the Christmas get togethers....and hope Nathan is feeling better.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

Todd, Tina and Liam

Amy said...

So glad you had a great Christmas! Sounds like a flurry of activities but lots of good memories. Hope everyone is feeling 100% soon.

Pam said...

Augh! Is a rule that everyone must be ill on Christmas? We need to move Christmas to July. ;) Glad it was good despite all the yucky!!!

Julie & Patrick said...

Isn't the hustle and bustle of Christmas wonderful? All the merry making and still time to support those who are not well. Somehow everyone manages to squeeze it all in and rejoice in the reason for the season too. Anya Rashi is a gem! She is growing up so fast. I absolutely love that she says who who who!!

Julie R

ColleenC said...

I love the big family get-togethers!! When I was growing up we had a huge extended family nearby and it just made Christmas so exciting- I miss that!

Your boys and Anya Rashi are so precious! I love her little dress!

CindyO. said...

Merry Christmas and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you guys!! Hope it was magical.

Joel and Jenn said...

Ah... I had lost your blog address and then yesterday I discovered it again! Yeah! So I had fun catching up on your family over the last month and a half! What fun memories, photos, and stories! Thanks for sharing.