This...is my family. Or at least a portion of it. All seven of my siblings are here, as well as parents and paternal grandparents. This photo was taken for my sister's wedding back in 2008, and, in the way of family tradition, we found it nearly impossible to stay serious for even a few pictures. So we decided to let loose and be ourselves. I should warn you that however crazy this side (the West-Coasters) may seem, my mother's side (the East-Coasters) are even crazier.
I love my family.
Christmas is almost here!
You probably already knew that (it's hard to ignore, what with the stores pushing it up every year. I love Christmas, but I do not love wandering down aisles of Christmas merchandise in the local supermarket in October), but I felt I ought to remind you anyway, and then maybe laugh at you as you frantically run around, attempting to gather gifts and decorate, while I calmly sip my cup of Holiday Chai and devour a few hundred candy canes.
I adore Winter, and Christmas is just another thing to love about it.
I love the cold, the ice, the snow (we've already had a foot this year!), and the overcast skies.
I love how jolly people become, how they think of others a little more, and smile all the time.
I love the carolers singing Christmas hymns, the laughter of children as they throw snowballs, and the Salvation Army man that stands outside of Albertson's in his stocking cap, ringing a small, cheery bell and extolling a "God Bless" for every coin that chinks in his red collection plate.
I love the spicy gingerbread cookies and the sharp sweetness of peppermint sticks, as well as the warming comfort of a cup of hot chocolate after playing in the snow, or a mug of Christmas tea while reading some Charles Dickens.
I especially love remembering the origin of the holiday- marking the arrival of Jesus Christ, God's only son, into our human world. The beginning of a great journey and an amazing life that would give up everything to give us a chance at Salvation. What a sacrifice to leave the beauty of Heaven and exchange it for the filth of our world! We are all undeserving, but received it none-the-less.
To me, Winter is a time to relax a bit (the exact opposite of so many I know who think of Summer as a time to relax. Summer? Really? But it's so hot!), and I hope you are able to slow down and do the same.
Oh tidings of comfort and joy...