Embracing the season

Christmas is always a little bittersweet for me. Almost all of my Christmas memories involve my brother — him unwrapping and then rewrapping presents under the tree, decorating the house together, and squirming through Midnight Mass together. We’ll never have any of that again, and the memories will just have to be enough.

I have a new blessing, though, in my baby sister. Francesca is getting to the most adorable age. She’s fallen in love with Elmo, her favorite thing to say is either “UP UP!” or “OUTSIDE!”, and she can unwrap presents by herself. Even shopping at Wal-Mart a few days before Christmas became tolerable when Matt and I found the “Up-Up Elmo” toy, something seemingly made especially for Francesca. I giggled for hours with that toy, pressing his tummy and imagining her reaction.

Christmas is so much more than presents under a tree or lights on a house. It’s the time with the people you love, a time for memories, laughter, and even a few tears. I never really thought Christmas was all about food or presents — it’s about giving, about being thankful, and cherishing the memories you have and the time with your family. More than anything, though, it’s about remembering the real reason for the season, and that’s giving thanks to God and thanking him for the gift of his son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

That’s what we all need to remember this year. Everything else doesn’t matter.

Cross-posted from Cassy’s blog. Stop by for more original commentary, or feel free to follow her on Twitter!

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