Each Christmas Eve my cousin Marvin, my children, my husband, my mother and I put on our pajamas, eat pizza and the cookies we baked earlier in the day and watch movies until the wee hours of the morning. It never fails that Marvin will pick a movie that is so bad that it becomes funny and instead of watching the movie we laugh at all of the reasons it's so horrible. This Christmas Eve was bittersweet. Although Matt's girlfriend Devin and my step-daughter Tai Lynne were present, my mother was not able to travel.
Before going to sleep, we always read the children's classic The Crippled Lamb, a selection from the book of Matthew, feed the reindeer- although my children are all nearly grown- and leave cookies and milk for Santa. And as sure as the sun rises on Christmas morning, Santa will have sipped the milk and left crumbs on the table.
When Lyndsay was younger she would wake us up at an ungodly hour on Christmas morning and we would all walk bleary- eyed to the tree as she scurried beneath to see what Santa had brought her for being such a good girl. Now that she's almost 16 (and more sour than sweet most of the time) she wakes up much later in the morning, but since she is the baby of the family we let her be the first to make the Christmas morning discovery.
My husband and I have been up for hours waiting to hear movement. He's reading the paper as I write this and we both know it will be awhile because they stayed up until 4 am watching movies.
In a few hours there will be Christmas paper and bows scattered everywhere and the house I so carefully cleaned will look like a battle zone. Christmas music will be playing in the background and the kids will be enjoying their gifts while I sit in my favorite chair sipping tea and staring in amazement at how blessed I am. Lynn will begin preparing the lobster-stuffed grouper and then we will sit down as a family at the dinner table and once again give thanks to such a wonderfully amazing God.
But his holiday is not without sadness. At the moment Granddaddy is ill having given up his will to live. There have been several deaths that have shaken us and for too long we have had to deal with the evil motives of evil people. We have had to tighten our belts financially and we have witnessed a world that gets crazier and scarier by the moment.
Just a moment ago Simba, our dog, threw up on the carpet and I remembered that I forgot to wrap a gift, but no matter how imperfect my life is, how silly our family traditions, or how wretched the world may seem, it truly is a wonderful life.