Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Words About Christmas 2010

We took pictures on Christmas, of course, but I honestly just don't feel like messing with uploading them now! :) So, instead, here is an attempted brief recap of the best Wilson Christmas yet!

-Christmas Eve Day: Eric's dad, stepmom, and younger sister came to visit us. We went out to lunch, exchanged presents, and just had fun talking and laughing together.

-Christmas Eve Afternoon/Evening: I cooked for the evening's dinner while Eli and Eric played. We visited our neighbors, made a cake for Baby Jesus, and opened the drawer on the advent calendar that had the Baby Jesus piece in it. We all got Christmas pajamas, and, after reading the Christmas story, singing happy birthday to Jesus, and eating cake, we tucked a very excited little boy into bed for the night. (He woke up FIVE times during the night because he was so excited!)

-Christmas Eve Later-Evening: Phil and Kelly came over for our annual Christmas Eve fancy steak dinner. The food and drinks were AMAZING, if we do say so ourselves, and we so enjoyed this time with each other! We said goodbye late in the evening with very full bellies and very full hearts! I cleaned the kitchen while Eric put together Eli's big Christmas gift from us- a tractor! We put out the gifts and soaked up the candlelit view of the tree. We fell into bed late but still couldn't sleep because we were just so happy and excited!

-Christmas Morning: Eric and I read the Christmas story together before Eli woke up and spent time reflecting on Jesus' birth. (And I will again highly recommend Walter Wangerin's Preparing for Jesus- an amazing, life-changing book on advent!) Then we paced the hallway outside Eli's room because we couldn't wait for him to wake up! :) I finally couldn't help myself any longer and woke him up at 8:30am. He was so excited to see his tractor! It's a big John Deere pedal tractor that has a front-loader and a wagon and everything is pretty realistic. He loves all his other (small) gifts, too, but the tractor definitely took the cake! We opened our gifts together and ate cinnamon rolls and were so very thankful to be just the three of us in our little warm house. We couldn't have been more happy or thankful!

-Later Christmas Morning: We headed over to my parents' house with everyone else for the big Bergstrom Christmas. It was so much fun, and the kids were all so happy and well-behaved! We had a blast exchanging gifts and watching the kids play, and we ended it all with a big brunch, complete with my mom's traditional raisin bread.

-Christmas Afternoon: We napped and rested and played with new toys! Perfection!

-Christmas Evening: We went to my Uncle and Aunt's house for the big family get-together with all the cousins, etc. It was a blast, as usual.

-The 26th: We spent the day with Eric's mom and stepdad and had another wonderful day celebrating.

It was a fantastic Christmas! After several years of spending Christmas day running from one get-together to another, we determined that we were done with exhausting, stressful Christmases! We wanted a calm, restful day with plenty of time with just the three of us, and we got just that. And by doing it this way we got to spend great quality time with each of the "sets" of family we have, spread out over a few days instead of packed into one day. It was a perfect, special, wonderful holiday that we'll never forget.

Thanks for reading! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!

As a child, it seemed like the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas dragged by. Now, as an adult, as an adult with a child and a "Christmas" to put on for my family, there seems to be not enough time at all between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And while Eli laments the links still left in his paper chain counting down the days until Christmas, I am thankful for each and every one of them left! There is just so much to do!

That said, I am so very excited to finally give the gifts that I have spent weeks purchasing, so excited to see Eli's face when he wakes up on Christmas morning, so excited for him to open that final drawer on the advent calendar and find the Baby Jesus for whom he has so eagerly waited. I'm excited for Christmas Eve dinner with Kelly and Phil, for cinnamon rolls as we open presents in the morning, just the three of us, for visits with precious family.

But most of all this year I am excited for the wonderful work the Lord has done in our hears to prepare us for Christmas. Advent, though practiced "loosely" in years past, has become so real to us this year, and Eric and I both feel like the Lord has truly been preparing our hearts as we wait to celebrate the birth of our King. And Eli has understood so much of it as well, which makes it all the more special to me and Eric.

I hope that you all have a very merry Christmas, filled with the joy of the Lord and the peace that Jesus brought to earth with his birth. Diety stepped into humanity; eternity burst into time; mercy spoke into legalism; peace was offered between holy God and sinful man. Jesus Christ, our Emmanuel was born at Christmas, and, without Him, Christmas is just another meaningless act we perform. Without Him, all of life is meaningless, to be sure. I pray that each of you knows Him and learns of Him more deeply this Christmas. Because, as cliche as it may seem to say, Jesus is the best gift ever given, and the only gift that will last for eternity. All other gifts pale in comparison with the gift of salvation from an eternity separated from God. May we all embrace what Jesus has done for us and fall on our faces in worship as we celebrate the day of His humble birth.

Blessings to all of you, with love!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Diaper Man

Eli has been showing all the signs that he's ready for potty training. His mother, on the other hand, has been avoiding it like the plague. :) I just can't seem to get myself psyched up for days of accidents on the rugs!

Anyway, I was talking to a friend about how we were going to potty-train our toddlers (she has a daughter Eli's age), and she suggested talking it up for a while and then using a similar tactic to the familiar "pacifier fairy." You know- the fairy comes and takes all the pacifiers away from a child and leaves a surprise in return? Well, this January, the Diaper Man is coming to the Wilson house. :)

It's adorable to hear Eli talk about it...

Me: Who's coming after Christmas?
Eli: Diaper Man!
Me: And what is he going to do?
Eli: Take all the diapers away!
Me: And what do you get?
Eli: Under-woo! (underwear)
Me: And then what happens?
Eli: Go pee-pee and poo-poo in potty!

We have this conversation about ten times a day. :) He's pretty excited about it, and I'm gearing myself up for it, too. The only problem is that he's confused the Diaper Man with everything that happens at Christmas. He knows all about Baby Jesus being born and what we do on Christmas Day, and he's heard a little about Santa (we're trying to downplay him, though), but he's thrown the Diaper Man in the mix, too. We'll pull a link off of the Christmas chain, and I'll comment on how close to Christmas we are. Eli will then say, "Diaper Man coming!" It's amusing. We're trying hard to take emphasis away from the Diaper Man now, though, but he's still lodged in Eli's brain as part of Christmas.

So, this year, we have Baby Jesus, Santa, and the Diaper Man. :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

"Baby Jesus Born!"

This is what Eli says when we ask him what happens at Christmas. I have loved this Christmas season as I watch my toddler begin to understand what it all means. We have tried to be really purposeful with what we talk about and read, what we play with and sing about this month. We really want him to soak up the meaning of this season, to remember the truths that are illuminated through holiday traditions. Because, while he is too young yet to comprehend the meaning of the Son of God taking on human flesh to bring God's miraculous mercy to sinful man, he is definitely not too young to know that Jesus loves him, and that Christmas is when we joyfully celebrate His birthday.

We have an Advent calendar with 25 tiny drawers. I filled it this year with Scripture, family activities, service projects, and the characters from a tiny manger scene. Eli truly delights in opening a drawer every night. He gets excited when Eric reads to us the day's Scripture passage ("Daddy read Bible!") and loves to set up the little manger scene. Today he was playing with it, setting Mary inside the little stable, and he said, "Mary wait Baby Jesus." My heart just leapt, hearing my precious son articulate his understanding of what Advent is all about. Truly, we are waiting for Baby Jesus. We are preparing our hearts for the coming of the King- the humble, infant King born in the lowliest of places, breaking through time and space to bring the holiness and mercy of God to earth.

Eric and I have been reading Walter Wangerin's Preparing for Jesus, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Every day of Advent there is a devotion, a passage of Scripture to read, and a prayer. It has been so amazing to experience God's work in our hearts to deepen our understanding of what it means to wait for our King. We are so excited for Christmas morning, when we'll open the 25th drawer of the Advent calendar and find the tiny Baby Jesus, He for whom we so eagerly wait. Because, as cliche as it sounds to say it, the only reason we have to celebrate this season at all is that Baby Jesus was born.