Thursday, December 26, 2013

the day after christmas

no one talks much about the day after christmas. there are no advertisements or heartwarming stories or special broadcasts about this day.

december 26th.

as a kid, i can remember feeling a little let down. a tiny bit blue. christmas was over and we’d have to wait an entire year to have christmas come again.

as a mom, though, i kinda like this day. i’m not saying it’s better than christmas, nothing can take the place of christmas, but it has it’s own kind of goodness.

i came down the stairs early this morning, stepping over small bits and pieces of our holiday. a doll shoe here, a remote control car there. some playing cards strewn across the family room floor. a plate shoved to the side of the couch with a piece of half eaten cake. you know, the typical aftermath of
christmas mess. there are pine needles and shreds of wrapping paper tucked into most corners of our family room ... i'm sure i'll still be finding pine needles come next july.

decorating gingerbread houses
on christmas eve is one of our traditions .
kids get better and better every year! 
i woke this morning to a kitchen island dusted with snow -- one of the kids must have blown on the powdered sugar gingerbread houses late last night. there’s a stack of gift boxes, empty and waiting for a motivated someone to move them to the basement storage room. of course there’s a return pile: things which weren’t just right or didn’t quite fit. and opening the fridge for my creamer, i was sort of shocked at the collection of containers and oddly wrapped packages jammed on the shelves. leftovers. a slice of this, a scoop of that. the chocolate cake with the beautiful iced poinsettia looking a bit decimated this morning after on its glass pedestal plate. clearly the attack of a family of seven.

bits and pieces of christmas spilling over into this nothing special day. this day after. this december 26th.

as a mom, i’m seeing a lot of stuff in need of my attention, sure. but i’m also seeing this morning, how this aftermath of christmas kind of makes it continue.

all this stuff ... is with us now. some of it was wrapped up and hidden away until yesterday, but now we’re living with it. (and stepping over it). now it’s among us. it’s part of us. it’s right here in the middle of us. sure, some of it’s kind of messy and mixed up. some of it needs to be figured out  -- where do we keep this new toy or store that new thing. that’s all a part of it too, right?

and, except for the return pile, it's all here to stay.

when we had finished unwrapping yesterday some of the kids were quick to pick up their new loot and cart it off to their rooms. but my husband’s little pile stayed right there by the tree. years ago, when we were first married, he told me he just likes to look at it there for a while. he likes it all to linger. he doesn't want to hurry his christmas.

and linger christmas can.

and linger christmas should.

our home and our hearts should look a little bit different the day after christmas.

Jesus came as Emmanuel: God with us. just like those bits and pieces of our celebration stuck everywhere, we should be seeing remnants of the gift of God’s son. the day after christmas isn’t a blue day, it’s a bright day. a day when we realize we live a little bit different now. the day after Jesus’ birth changed everything. hope was born when love came down. and when love came down it dwelt among us.

we don't live in expectation of the birth of the Messiah anymore, we live in exultation because of the birth of the Messiah.

Emmanuel doesn’t mean God visited. it doesn't mean God dropped by. Emmanuel means God came to be with us. to stay with us. to live in us. to change us. God came to die for us so that we can live with Him forever.

"therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: 
behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, 
and she will call His name Emmanuel." ~ isaiah 7:14

i know most of us will spend the next few days picking up and putting away some of our holiday hoopla. but, as we restore order, let's remember that even in this ordinary, nothing special, day after Christmas God is with us. God came yesterday to be with us today ... and forever.


a few pics from christmas eve and christmas morning ...

em painted this for her sister
a big smile over a "hoped for" gift!

potential college colors?

on this day after christmas bella's sweet friend, emme, stopped over
with this adorable gift -- a monogramed sweatshirt and matching headband!

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