My family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve. When I was small we rotated through the homes of my mother's extended family, even traveling out to Chicago. This was interspersed with trips to Peru to celebrate with my father's family. As our own family grew (meaning I kept having babies, not to mention my sisters), my parents wanted to shift the celebration to their own home every year and be able to focus and enjoy their own children and grandchildren. And so every Christmas Eve we gathered, siblings, spouses, and children. The memories we are building are very dear to my heart.
This year would be different. As my parents patiently wait for their home to be restored, it would be a chance for me to make our home the "home for the holidays". I will admit, I worried. I hoped I could pull off something beautiful and special. As I prepared, I fought the list in my head of the "have-nots". As I have pondered the wonderful dinner and celebration we had the other night I smile to think of what we do have.
I did not have a real tree.
I did have a tree full of ornaments, some passed down from when I was small, many made by my children, each one with a story that makes me smile. I had a tree that waited to be decorated until Tio Carlos and Jenn could get here from New York to decorate it with us because it just wouldn't be the same without them.
I did not have my mother's beautiful Christmas dinnerware.
I did have my own dishes (which I love) that reflect just who we are as a family and some very very tasty food to serve on them.
I did not have a formal dining room.
I did have a cozy big kitchen that truly reflected the heart of my home. On Christmas Eve it was full of love and laughter.
I did not have matching dining room furniture.
I did have the very table that used to be in my parent's home many years ago that had aready had its share of happy celebrations. I had a new long bench filled with my children and my own dear brother. I had a folding chair next to me where I welcomed his new love to our family table.
I had my parents, here in my home, safe and healthy.
I had my sister and her husband and their dear children.
I had my sister on the phone from Texas wishing us Feliz Navidad.
I had my dear husband, feeling sick, smiling, doing his best, welcoming everyone.
I had my children.
I have so much more than I could ever hope for. All because God In His glory and power chose to make Himself available to us as a tiny baby, poor and helpless.