Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Past

Hard to believe Christmas 2008 is pretty much over. I know the real meaning of Christmas is Christ's birth, but it is also about family and spending time with them, so it's always sad to see the end of Christmas day come.

Vicki, Steve, and the girls arrived around 10, and the somewhat quiet house ceased to be quiet. We all gathered in the downstairs family/living room where the tree and gifts were, and the fun began. The kids handed most of the gifts out, even Nathan, though most of the ones he did went to the wrong people. They were opened in a surprisingly orderly fashion. As I opened mine, I kept an eye on the package for Dad containing the stuffed Hippo. It ended up being the last thing he opened, and as he opened the box after unwrapping it, I keyed up the song "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas" to start playing. When he pulled it out, he, and all of us, about died laughing.

(I am not sure how Nathan ended up in Vicki and Steve's Christmas family photo, but he seems to like Steve pretty well)

I am happy with what I got. I got 4 books, including Ted Dekker's new book, which wasn't supposed to be out until February, so that was a surprise. I got a few articles of clothing, 2 animals to set in my apartment when I get one - I decorate with a safari theme, so Mom got me an elephant and tiger. Also got a flannel blanket/wrap thing, and a few other items. I was also the recipient of a gag gift. Guess I deserve it, as I gave at least 5 this year. :-) Paul & Pam got me a long-haired wig. Beware of gifts from "Santa"! I put it on, and some funky framed glasses we got Mom, and let them take some pictures. I was going to post one here until I saw the end result, so that ain't gonna happen! Pam also got me a small pillow that says "I smile because you are my brother. I laugh because there is nothing you can do about it". :-)

After we opened the presents, we ate a great ham dinner. Free Amish ham courtesy of Mom's and my employer. Maybe because it was free is why it was so good. :-) We managed to get some game playing done, none of which I did very well at. Where is Cindy when I need to beat someone at a game?!

Even though we weren't hungry, especially after eating cookies and fudge all day, we kept tradition and ate again - ham sandwiches and crackers and cheese. And played yet another game that I lost. Vicki and Steve left around 6, but since they both work tomorrow and Saturday, the girls will be back in the morning, and the chaos will start all over again. The kids do play well together, which I am glad of.

As this Christmas 2008 closes, and the New Year looms all the closer, I have been doing some reflecting. (The shaved head helps me reflect........) Lately, I have been all too guilty of seeing the glass as half empty instead of half full, but today has reminded me that I have a lot to be thankful for. And at the top of it all, the fact that over 2000 years ago, God stepped onto this earth and became a baby, only to grow up and die for even me. So as these last couple of hours of Christmas 2008 fade away into the ages, let me take this opportunity to say "Happy Birthday, Jesus".


Cindy said...

Nice pics, Mark! Looks like you had a great day. Wish I could've seen your dad's expression when he opened up the hippo :) That had to be hysterical! And I still think you should post pics of you. I'm bitter because you sent them to Steve and forbade him to show anyone!!!! And thanks so much for the comment about me helping you win games. Hardy har har. We'll see who does the winning this weekend! You better sharpen up your skills, buddy, 'cause Steve and I are out for blood! Lol...