The Gifts We Receive Just Being in that Moment
I did some Christmas decorating in our house yesterday. In some ways, I annually dread this chore. If you're wondering why that is contact me for a tour of our attic. On the other hand, though, unlike many other chores, this one can turn magical.
One reason is we get to set out Christmas standards like this gingerbread house:
I know our Christmas seems to have a bit of a gingerbread house theme to it this year. You may recall I previously wrote about Elliott's school play This Old Gingerbread House. But the special feeling I get setting out our gingerbread house has nothing to do with a theme. It's more about story. I can't ever look at the decoration above without recalling the scene below:
Elliott was almost 2 in that picture. Yet, when I put our gingerbread house out yesterday, nearly 7 years later, I could still see the wonder in Elliott's stare. I could feel his curiosity stirring together a story that has lived in my heart ever since.
Our babies do that. Especially when they are still "actual" babies. To me, there's something very spiritual watching our kids absorb the little pieces of life that form who they become. It's a gift to attend the moments when those pieces stop them in their tracks. Many times it's a hard hitting reminder of the kind of moments that need to stop me in mine.
I often wonder what moments stopped Jesus in his tracks when he was a baby. I believe in coming to us as a baby, Jesus had the opportunity to make plenty of gingerbread stops of his own. At each one, he collected the wisdom he would ultimately share with us. I wonder if Mary and Joseph felt those moments any differently than I do when I hang those little ornaments on the tree next to the gingerbread house. I wonder if their smiles were any bigger than mine whenever I see a Santa hat.
Do you have moments like these that are part of your Christmas story? What new ones will you collect this year? Whatever they are - treasure them. Share them. Make them outlast the gifts under the tree.
You can read previous posts from this Christmas series by clicking below: