I simplified my decor quite a bit this year and actually left several boxes in the attic. It was nice to have less to put out and less to put away and nice to have less clutter around during the holiday season. A house can look and feel so festive with just a few little touches.
We stayed home this year so our families back in CA generously shipped us a few gifts, which was such a treat and they definitely helped fill up the space under our tree! Though I would have LOVED to have had more of our family with us in NC this past Christmas I don't regret staying home. I really enjoy being in our own space and being able to celebrate and create our own traditions with our daughter now.
Daisy chatted sweetly with each animal and she seemed to think that they were hungry because she offered each of them little handfuls of hay while gently patting their heads and backs and saying, "der you go all better." Then she walked up to Mary and Joseph and had a priceless little conversation with them about baby Jesus. I could only hear bits and pieces of her chat from my place on the sidewalk but, the sweetest thing was when she bent down to kiss Mary's belly and told baby "dejus" that she loved him and she would see him soon. Oh how this heart of my melted and yes, she was very sad to go when that time finally came.
Daisy got to help decorate the cake and I stuck a baby Jesus from one of our Nativity sets on top to help her better understand who the cake was for. She totally got it and she had a blast singing happy birthday to Jesus. And then it happened....after visiting the nativity and seeing the delight in my daughter's eyes as she sang happy birthday to Jesus...it was then unexpectedly that all the sadness and loneliness completely vanished and the love and peace of celebrating Jesus with my family warmed my heart through and through. All felt right in the world and I felt no sadness at the closing of this Christmas. I felt the most indescribable peace that we experienced it perfectly. I didn't choose that moment or will it to happen because trust me if I could have I probably would have chosen a few weeks earlier but, then these memories might not have been as powerful! The timing was perfect though. God's timing always is. I wish I could explain the situation better and do it more justice...but, let me just conclude by saying that it was definitely a holiday miracle. Thank you Jesus for loving us so perfectly, for seeing our broken hearts and filling them with just what they need. You are the ultimate gift giver!!