Even though last year both kids woke up with fevers and we ended up in the ER in the evening, I still think I am starting to prefer simplicity over chaos.
Now don't get me wrong, I still miss our friends and family back home especially during the holiday season, but there's just something about the innocence of quiet, and kids who've never known anything but!
75% of my Christmases growing up were spent up North, (Northern Washington State or British Columbia, CA) with my mom's side of the family. She has 5 brothers and sisters and most of us gathered for a whole week of celebration. While there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with celebrating with large amounts of family every year, you start to think that's what the holiday is all about. And if you can't be with them, than its not really Christmas.
I loved those weeks and get togethers growing up. But so often, I felt like all our emphasis was put on how much time was put in the kitchen and what was on the dinner table or the young ones comparing if their cousins got more gifts than they did.
It seems like the last few years on facebook or blogs, so many people are talking about or posting pictures from the 3-4 different Christmases they had at different relatives houses; then their kids ask when they were going to go to the next relatives house to open more presents.
I'm not sure if its living far away or being a military family, but I am realizing more and more I do NOT want that for my kids.
I want it to be simple.
I want my kids to focus on what we can do for others less fortunate to celebrate Jesus' birth.
I love being able to invite military "orphans" over for the holidays.
I love waking up, opening one set of gifts and the kids being thankful for those because they're the only set they're getting,
I love that we don't have to argue over who we are spending Christmas with because we are focused on the fact that Josh is not deployed and we are together.
I love counting my blessings.