home sweet home

we celebrated a wonderful christmas at my parents.  a snowstorm postponed one sister's flight and kept us all a little housebound, but it was fun to lay low, eat, play, and laugh together.  my kids relished attention from their grandparents, aunts, and uncle, and we got to spend a rare afternoon all together with my grandma, too.  james even slept reasonably well--a christmas miracle!

at some point i'll upload pictures, but tonight, it's nice to just appreciate our beautiful christmas tree (that i'm in no hurry to take down) and the quiet.

we opened the stockings that didn't get filled before we left and gave the kids one last gift--the (only) one from us and something we were so excited to share.  we scooped up a train table on craiglist and got some wooden trains and tracks.  i know we're going to enjoy them playing there together for a long time.  between the christmas tree and the train table, it really looks like a family lives here:)

we worshiped at my parent's church christmas eve.  it was good to see familiar faces and enjoy the pageant and dance.   as we sang together, i was struck by what this carol revealed about the purpose of the manger-born babe:
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
i looked up the lyrics and found there are alternate lines sung after:
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
amazing, huh?  always the cross visible from the stable.

how did your family celebrate?  any fun or poignant traditions?  is christmas over in your mind, or do you keep things going through epiphany?  i hope that your celebrations were warm, wonderful, and worshipful.
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