All ready for the big day? Every year we run around like crazy trying to do too much in a short amount of time! We all KNOW what the real meaning of the holiday is but we also want to make Christmas delightful for those we love. Every year I have the same nightmare. I dream that it is Christmas Eve at 6 PM and I have yet to buy a gift, do any food shopping, send a card or decorate the house! I wake up in a cold sweat! Now why do we do such things to ourselves? *smile* I decided to make it a bit more simple for myself this year yet still find myself rushing through the day to get this or that done. *sigh* But, just like the Whos down in Whoville show us each year, Christmas comes whether we are ready or not! And Christmas does not need fancy ribbons and bows, a spotless house or the perfectly glazed ham...no, it just needs loving and caring hearts and open arms. In fact, sometimes it's what we do NOT get done or what went "wrong" that make the sweetest memories! This morning I found myself thinking about our son's first Christmas. Daniel had arrived from Korea in April of 1990. He was 8 years old and did not speak a word of English. He must have been frightened but that precious smile never faltered. He was such a joy and a true delight from the moment he stepped foot from the airplane. That joy would sustain us when Bill was sent to the Persian Gulf on 2 short days notice. He would be gone for a very long time and would miss Danny's first day of school, first Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. My heart was broken for both of them but it was our son who made it a happy holiday for me. Dan just loved all the excitement surrounding the holidays. He took great pleasure in everything from baking cookies to late evening Church services on Christmas Eve. It was impossible not to be caught up in his happiness! For Daniel's first Santa visit I chose the mall that had the most *real* looking St. Nick. While standing in line to see the jolly old elf, one of the old boy's helpers noticed the way Danny was speaking. She motioned me over...Dan was so fixated in watching the others with Santa he had no idea I had moved away...and asked about him. I explained he had been in this country for a short time and was still learning English. She asked if he was from Korea. It seems that "Santa" was married to a Korean lady & spoke the language fluently! She asked for Dan's American AND Korean name and when it was time for us to be called, Santa looked over and beckoned by using his Korean name. Oh but the look of pure joy that spread across my son's face! Santa and Dan had a long talk, in both English and Korean and my boy absolutely beamed! When he ran back to me, he gushed, "Oh Mommy! He is really, really real Santa! I knowed! I knowed! I do!" And Mom knew it would be a moment she would treasure forever. There were so many moments that year that would cause us to feel sad but ultimately, it was Dan's presence that made it a sweet holiday to remember always. I hope that your Christmas will be filled with those little moments that warm your heart and tickle your silly spirit. If the cake falls and the cookies burn...if the cards are late or the tree is lopsided...just remember that Christmas will still arrive. It will come to us silently and reverently. It will come to remind us that God so loved us that he offered his greatest gift, His son, Jesus Christ. Each one of you is a gift to me, a gift that I cherish and hold dear. Even when I can't make blog rounds the way I would wish to, I am thinking about you. I send you warm hugs and much love. God Bless each one of you.