If you would have asked me a few years ago what my favorite month is, my answer would look a lot different than it does right now. Because what is now my favorite month was probably my least favorite month a few years ago. Not that I hated it, it just did not have the same meaning that it does to me now.
Growing up I did not have your typical childhood. We did not celebrate holidays and birthdays on the actual days. Due to my dad’s job, then my mom’s and then my 2nd dads job we had to celebrate these events whenever they were off. They did not always have the luxury of being off on holidays. As a matter of fact they would sometimes have to work all day on those days because their work needed them to cover for someone who did not come in that day. Looking back that would probably be my ONLY complaint about my childhood but that is for another post.
So what is my favorite holiday? I bet you are really wondering by now. Well folks. It is December. Why? Most of the credit goes to what we celebrate in December and that is the birth of Christ my savior. some of the credit goes to my in-laws. Not that I was not totally spoiled by my parents on Christmas they were not always available to have family time. I got a lot of nice things for Christmas and never wanted for anything but it was not until I got married and got involved with my in laws Christmas celebrations that I realized what was missing.
Please do not get me wrong. My parents worked very hard and I know that was their way of showing me that they care about me. For that I am blessed and always grateful. For a little while my mom was a single mom. She worked her tail off to support my brother and I. So she was gone quite a bit When she remarried my 2nd dad. He has very good reason to not feel celebratory during the Christmas season. He lost both parents around that time and it is their birthdays around then as well. So not a good time for him.
Anyway, my husbands family is all about gathering together and celebrating and eating. I remember a few times I went and visited family in South Georgia with my mom but my in laws, well this goes on EVERY year! It starts with decorating the house for Christmas and the Christmas tree. Coffee and lights and ornaments every where. We let the kids decorate the tree in Papas room. It drives me NUTS how they bunch everything everywhere but my in laws… well they don’t care. To them, its perfect.
Christmas Eve is at our Aunt and Uncles. There we have delicious snacks that she always whips up. We get to open gifts and they are always wonderful but there is one thing that is not lacking and that is laughter and LOTS of it! =) That evening we all head home and relax. Typically that is when we get our PJs but the family has grown significantly since that tradition started. But Christmas Eve we relax. We know the madness that will ensue on Christmas Day.
Christmas Day rolls around. The times of the traditions have changed a bit since my husband and his sister have grown and started their own families but the actual traditions. Still there. Christmas morning we celebrate at our own homes with our smaller families. This is the time my mom and dad come over and watch the kids open gifts. Then my husband whips up a HUUUGE breakfast. That is his thing. Breakfast and my mom, well she loves it.
Then its onto my in laws. We begin to prepare one of the largest Christmas dinner my eyes have ever seen. Ham, Deep fried turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, meatloaf… I mean stuffing, and the list goes on and on. Oh! And lets not forget the rolls. The rolls do not get passed around. If you need a roll put your hand in the air and expect one to come flying in your direction from the head of the table. After the hustle and bustle of dinner and cleaning is done then we settle down and we head over to my husbands grandparents house.
While we are his grandparents house we open gifts that they have given us and our kiddos. Meanwhile “Santa” is coming again at my in laws house. We spend some time with his grandparents and then head back over to my in laws. The kids go in last and there is usually an insane amount of gifts. They are excited and open them. At this point the adults are starting to feel like they cant keep their eyes open but the day is not over yet. Onto the big kids. My husband, sister in law, her husband and I head to Papas room and they never cease to amaze us. As we grow older we expect less from others as far as gifts. We know the cost now and we say over and over again it is not necessary but to my in laws it is. Just like our faces light up when our kids open their gifts, theirs do too.
So at the end of the day December is my favorite month for MANY reasons. But the main reason is JESUS. He is truly the reason for the season. The second reason is FAMILY!
Matthew 1:18-25 The Birth of Jesus Christ
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”