merry christmas, ya’ll

Merry [2 days after] Christmas, everyone!

o come

{via}

 I had big plans for us this year. We were going to host an ornament exchange, visit santa, and drive through the Honolulu City Lights. We were going to have cozy family time each night of Advent while we read the story of Christmas. We were going to try new recipes and bake tons of cookies. We were going to put Christmas sheets on all of our beds and use our special Christmas dish towels every time we did the dishes. We were going to color code our gifts under the tree and take tons of sweet pictures of Lyla on Christmas morning.

You get the picture.

I had put a ton of pressure on myself to make this, Lyla’s first Christmas, the “best ever” – and I was ready to document it here for family and friends who we weren’t able to physically be with this year.

And then my computer charger stopped working. Followed by my nice camera. We had a few rounds of guests and Alex had a busy couple of weeks at work. Life kept happening and time never slowed down to give me a chance to catch up (don’t you hate that?)

And in the midst of all the (semi-organized) chaos, I stumbled across the She Reads Truth advent study. It was perfect. I so looked forward to reading the entry each day. My parents and grandparents did a good job teaching me the story of Christmas when I was growing up, so I was definitely familiar with the readings, but this year it took on a whole new meaning. The enormity of His sacrifice is something I never could have fully understood until becoming a parent. And it continues to blow my mind.

What an awesome God we serve. Not only is he perfectly loving, accepting and forgiving but he is oh-so creative. Without my camera and computer, I spent more time with my family. More time absorbing Lyla and her sweet seven (almost eight!) month old self. More time focusing on the true reason of the season.

I wasn’t comparing our Christmas to anybody else’s.

I wasn’t focused anymore on making our Christmas the “best ever” because I was reminded that the first Christmas, over 2000 years ago, was actually the best ever. No perfectly Pinterest-able house or deliciously dressed up baby will beat that.

I was freed from the pressures of the season, and it was such a relief.

We had a great Christmas day, filled with good food and fun gifts. We missed family and friends who are on the mainland (and beyond) but enjoyed time with our Hawaii ohana. I didn’t get the photos that I wanted – and while that would usually bum me out – this year I allowed myself to take a step back and just soak it in.

It was a very Merry Christmas, indeed.

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