December 25, 2011

Unwrappable

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It must have been twenty something posts-probably more- on Facebook and Twitter about the presents people received on Christmas. There was more excitement and exclamation points used as the dollar amounts of the presents increased. For all their age and years of hearing the Christmas story, so many of them resorted to listening their pricey gifts one by one, as if that meant they were loved more. And somewhere along the way, they forgot that it isn't a competition.

But they weren't watching my daughter become just a little less baby and a little more girl as she dressed up in a plaid dress, tights, and patent leather Mary Janes. Maybe they didn't understand.

Because that was my Christmas. That, and feeling the tears well up too many times to count because my family was together- Sky kept repeating it as if to remind me. It was him making me stay up until midnight so he could kiss me and be the first one to tell me, "Merry Christmas." It was my dad putting a huge pot of chili and a crockpot full of hot cider on the floorboards of his car to bring them to my house. Explaining to Millie that Santa Claus had eaten cookies even though she doesn't understand it yet. Sky helping clean the house after I'd spent the past three days in the kitchen baking. Dressing Millie in pajamas with candy canes on Christmas Eve, and getting her gussied up on Christmas afternoon even though I was wearing jeans. Calling my mom and little brother who live on the west coast, and coaxing Millie to tell them hi. Watching "A Muppet Christmas Carol" with my family like we always did when I was a kid. Getting a box (with a warning not to open until Christmas) from the sweetest faraway friend. Standing in the kitchen so long every part of me hurt, and tasting the icing before tasting the cookies. My aunt and uncle driving an hour to be here, and my brother driving an hour and a half from another way. Editing pictures of my daughter waving wrapping paper and bows wildly around. Reading her a board book of the Christmas story until she's old enough to hear it from Luke. Wrapping plates of cookies in tin foil for anyone who offered to take a few home. Getting up early to spend a little time together as a family before Sky headed to work.

It means not telling you what I unwrapped on Christmas.
Because it doesn't matter.
Because these things- the un-wrappable things- these are Christmas.

And I hope that yours was as merry as mine.

16 kind comments from you:

Elizabeth said...

Absolutely the meaning of Christmas :) I definitely shared the things we got and will be blogging over the course of the week, but it was more like dog treats for the puppies and tactical notebooks! The fact that we spent the day together building memories on the first Christmas together in our marriage is so much more meaningful than any iPad out there... The little things we've shared with eachother are only important in that we were both here to give and recieve this year. Your recap of a wonderful Christmas is by far the best I've seen this year :)

So glad it was a very Merry Christmas and your family was able to be together!

Skinnie Piggie said...

Love this... and I totally agree... I honestly don't think I told anyone what I got for Christmas. The people that gifted you know and that should be enough. For me, it was doing activities with my family and getting to see my husband's blurry face and hear his voice after not being able to for so long! Merry CHRISTmas, I am so glad you enjoyed time with your family. =)

beka said...

oh my word, i love this. sooooo much.

Kaylee said...

yep. True that! Glad you had a lovely day :)

Emily said...

Amen, lady! My little one was the light in my eyes this Christmas, and to be honest, I'm tearing up just writing to you about her. I kept telling Dh that it was the best Christmas I've ever had, and I have a hard time even remembering what gifts he gave me. They simply don't matter.

Our Little Fam said...

LOVE this post! So glad you had a good Christmas and was able to be with family. Merry Christmas!

JennyTheBeatBoxer said...

I agree 100%. I'm so glad you had such a blessed holiday!
The Muppet Christmas Carol is my FAVORITE! And I will argue until I'm blue in the face that it's the best version ever! :)

Ashley said...

I spent the whole month of December worrying about whether or not Emma knew that Christmas is Jesus' birthday. We read the Christmas story, we asked her everyday whose birthday Christmas was, and yet part of me still felt like a failure-like despite all my efforts, Christmas was still so materialistic for her...so, "I, I, I". That was until Christmas morning, right before she opened her gifts, Randy asked her, "Emma, whose birthday is it today?" and she said, "Jesus." That when my heart did a little dance...when I knew that this year hadn't been a total materialistic failure. That was one of the best things about my Christmas...not what I got her. Thanks for this, though. Thanks for putting things into perspective. I'm so glad that you, Em, and Skye had a blessedly beautiful Christmas day :)

Fran said...

THIS.

So true, my friend. I'm glad you had a lovely Christmas :)

The New "Normal" said...

I love this. So true. We try so hard to instill in our kids the meaning of Christmas, but it is hard as they get older. We read the Christmas story, talk about the things that are really important in life, etc. This year, I think they really understood it. They were so happy to have Daddy home, presents didn't really matter! We were all just so happy to be together. :) I'm glad that your Christmas was wonderful!

greaterexp said...

We could only picture family, especially the little ones, on Christmas morning;it was a very quiet one here. But even with the three of us, in the quiet of the day, those little traditions, the food, the delight of a 16-yr-old son being truly surprised and grateful all fed our hearts. We thought all day of the greatest gift - the wonder that Christ would come to us as a human child sent by a loving God. Thank you for being the voice of Linus and reminding everyone how much we have, if all we have is God's love and mercy.

vintch said...

i love this more than i can tell you. such beautiful images, and such truth. i'm so glad your sweet family was together this christmas-i know that made it so special:)

KERRY said...

Perfect post Erika!! I couldn't have said it better myself. It's the Little Things... ;)
Sounds as though you had a beautiful Christmas with your family with lots of amazing and memorable moments especially quality time spent with your little cutie!!
Merry Christmas :)

Melissa said...

Perfect! It is those things that are unwrappable, they mean the most. And I totally feel you on the whole everyone posting about what they got even though I deactivated my Facebook I've noticed a lot of bloggers telling every little or big thing they received and although it's nice to recieve it turns into who got what and who's better, has more money ect. Everything Christmas isn't about. They probably won't remember those gifts next year or even in a few months but those with children and the way we see through their eyes will cherish those moments forever. And that's better and more extravagant to me than any gift I could recieve.
I am so glad you had a Merry Christmas!!

Allie said...

Perfect post. I have to admit I went crazy about one present with social media, a puppy, since I was so excited. But Christmas is not about the presents, it is about the presence... whether it is religious or those you love that is what makes it important. Merry Christmas (:

charla beth said...

i love your heart.

soo glad you had such a merry christmas. <3

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