I was wrapping teacher gifts at the kitchen table the other night when I heard Cruz and Beau talking. I don't remember how the conversation started, but the words "Glory to God in the highest" from my four year old sparked my attention. Cruz wanted to play the Christmas story with Beau and while he was decreeing that Mr. Potato head would be a great "Jo-fess" and Boone dangling from the ceiling fan would make a great Christmas star, I was astonished at the details he was able to recall from the gospel. He told us about the bad king who wanted Baby Jesus to die, about the bright star that scared the shepherds until the angels said, "Do not be afraid," and about the kind man who said he was out of hotel rooms but told Mary and Joseph, "you are welcome to stay in my stable." Beau kept asking him questions and Cruz kept going, impressing us with his detail and reminding us how blessed we are with a Christian daycare who helps raise our littles in a foundation of faith and belief in Jesus. But most of all, I sat there feeling a little rotten about myself, silently praising God for his wisdom through the eyes of my four year old. If only we really did believe like children, Christmas might look so much different.
This year has been hard. It's been full of blessings, but not without battles. It's been too hard and too fast and too much and it's left me stretched and spent. But it feels like Christmas when I sit a room away and listen to my little boy tell his dad all about the night Jesus was born.
We tried to get Cruz's story recorded later, but he was a little distracted with the three Oreos he was eating!
Oh, and Beau was right on his wise men knowledge. I had forgotten about the dream. :)
More of my favorite Christmas memories from this week...
A Christmas movie night. Because movies just feel a little more magical when you're sprawled out under the Christmas tree lights. We moved the coffee table at Mom and Dad's, spread out blankets and pillows and sleeping bags in its place, and Cruz and Mila immediately got excited. They started rolling around the blankets and crawling over one another until the movie started. Then, the night was made with popcorn, and Arthur Christmas, and Papa Curt, of course.
All of Cruz's Santa letters. It's become a nightly ritual. Amidst the chaos of cooking dinner, unloading school bags, and sifting through Christmas cards, Cruz is usually right in the middle requesting some paper and markers. Then he gets to work, writing letters with squiggly, multi-colored markers and signing an ever improving 'CRUZ' at the bottom. They are pretty and Cruz is very proud of them; that is, until one of the markers wears out and he frustratingly declares "IT'S WUINED" over and over again. Poor little perfectionist, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
I used the Portable North Pole site again this year and sat Boone up by my computer screen one morning to present it to Cruz. If you haven't used this site before, I highly recommend it. You can create free, personalized messages from Santa to your little believer that includes their name, a picture of them, and a picture of something they would love to find under the tree. I wish I had a recording of Cruz's face the morning he watched his message from Santa. The minute Santa said in his burly voice, "Why, hello Cruz," his eyes lit up only the way a child's can (unless you're Papa Curt who's a little behind the times of modern technology). He listened so closely to every word, smiled and nodded so sweetly when Santa asked if he has been good, and sat on pins and needles as he waited for the elves to see if he's on the nice list. It was adorable to watch and I'm sure I won't ever forget Cruz announcing "HE KNOWS MY NAME!" afterwards.
And this girl. She's into everything right now, but she's sweet as pie and looks so stinking cute in her footie pajamas and winter dresses. She opened up her very first present at the Sanders' Christmas on Saturday and loved her Cabbage Patch doll. We had two Christmases back to back and she was such a trooper. Her favorite part is not the presents, but the food. She sat in two very old highchairs at both places, and sampled a variety of things, including a sugar cookie to which she inhaled. :)
Pictures from our first round of Christmases...
Merry Christmas week to all!