Monday, December 24, 2012

New Perspective on Gratitude

What is on your Christmas list?

How many gifts do you expect to see with your name on them under the Christmas tree?

What will make you truly happy tomorrow morning?

We all ask ourselves and our family members these types of questions each Christmas season. I found something this morning that really made me stop and think about the real gift of Christmas.

I went for a run this morning in Taft, California, and stopped off at the city park for a bathroom break. Sitting on the sink was a paper towel with a note written on it:
"To the City Guys:
Thank you for a clean and dry spot to rest.
Merry Christmas!
One of the Homeless"

Wow! The message of this note hit me in the face: What am I truly grateful for? What gifts do I truly appreciate?

This morning I am grateful for this "homeless person" who reminded me to be grateful for my family and the warm home I am blessed to sleep in.

This simple note also reminded me of the note Joseph may have written to the Inn Keeper long ago:

To The Inn Keeper:
Thank you for a clean and dry place to rest.
Merry Christmas!

I am going to try to remember each and every day to be grateful for the simple gifts in life.

Merry Christmas!

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

The End of The World Christmas Celebration

Knowing that we may not live to see another day, we decided to go ahead and celebrate Christmas early (the real reason for the early celebration was...we couldn't fit the kids' presents in the car for our trip to California. That's a lame excuse for an early Christmas though! We thought it would be a much better story to tell the kids they'd better open them on December 21st since the Mayan calendar ended and life as they know it may end as well!) Aren't we great parents?!

The kids drew names this year for our sibling/parent gift exchange. We tried to keep who we were buying a present for a secret. Some of the kids didn't quite get the secret keeping process. For example, Ian drew Cali's name. He bought her socks and vintage bows. He wrapped them up and made a tag that said, "To: Cali, From: Ian." It was supposed to say, "To: Cali, From: ?" Cali was supposed to guess who it was from. Obviously, the guessing part didn't happen.

Well, Little Miss Nyah got even more confused about the Secret Pal present. She bought a present for her dad; a gift card to Whichwich (his favorite sandwich shop). She wrapped it up and put a tag on it that said: "To:?, From: Nyah." She was just a little confused.

The gifts from Santa were a hit. Cali and Ian's big present was a snowboarding pass. Nyah talked Carson into asking Santa for a new dog. (Biscuit hasn't died yet, but the kids have always wanted a dog that moves around and plays, so that's what they got!)

Each child also received a new book, except for Nyah who received a Kindle. Nyah opened hers last. When she saw that it was a Kindle and not a book, she yelled, "Ha, ha, Suckers!" What an unglamorous thing to say! What a rude thing to do! (It was awfully funny though!)

Ian has been really into wearing sweats lately. Not stylish, but very comfortable! I thought I'd try to save some money on his gift. I bought him 2 pairs of sweats at Kmart for $3.99 a piece. Bargain, right?! When he held them up for us to see, he pointed out a strange pouch of material in the crotch area. "Is this a butt hole or a nut hole?" I have no idea what he was talking about, but I couldn't stop laughing!

Carson guessed each one of his gifts before opening it. "I know I will love riding this during the summer!"
He opened it. "Yep, it's a scooter!"
"I know these will keep my feet warm!"
"Yep, it's socks!"
That's how it goes with my boys. There is no magic or mystery!:)

Cali got a harmonica and a "headgear" so she can play it while she is playing her ukulele. She did not make any rude or inappropriate comments during present opening.
It was a fabulous Christmas celebration! I love my family!

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