To us, Christmas means family. With almost our entire extended families in the central Illinois area, the holiday season is filled with family get-togethers big and small. But even with five family gatherings in four days this year, I wouldn’t choose it any other way, because we get to see everyone.
Last year, there was a hole in my heart during our Christmas gatherings. I felt so torn being a part of all of the Christmas get-togethers – which were much more subdued than usual, as all of our family members were grieving with us about Brenna’s severe condition – while Brenna was lying alone very sick in the hospital. I had to force myself to just try to enjoy the festivities.
This year, the mood was light. Everyone was joyful. And our Christmas celebrations felt so complete with Brenna there.
There are some new babies in the family in addition to Brenna. The family gatherings are full of children’s laughter, and it warms my heart to see my kids playing with all of their cousins…even Brenna’s getting in on the action!
This year, I really tried my best to keep things simple – of course it’s easier said than done, but I was done shopping in early December, and I had a good game plan for all of the food I was making for the family parties…and then I just tried not to be consumed with any of the other “fluff” that took away from the true meaning of the season: Jesus’ birth. It made the whole holiday season so much more enjoyable!