Monday, January 3, 2011

The Best Christmas Ever

and the best Advent ever, fell this year in my household. Finally, after thirteen years of doing this in various ways, I've finally figured out the secret to the Advent and Christmas I've always wanted....

The quiet one.
I spent less than three minutes on the entirety of Christmas shopping for the children this year. It's no secret we we don't buy lots of things for our children at Christmas time, but this year we did less than ever before. And they were just as happy as ever before. Maybe happier.
Having been deprived of good food for four weeks, the Christmas meal tasted better than it ever has before. It was so, so delicious. We found ourselves extraordinarily grateful. After the meal we discussed how blessed we are to have such rich food, and watched a montage we've seen over and over this Advent, right there at the dinner table, shedding tears of gratitude and joy and sorrow all at once.
So grateful, so hungry for His Coming I wept in joy right there in front of everyone. And I didn't even care.
Foregoing usual holiday outings...the Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, the performances, the parades...for quieter time at home, pouring over good pages, handcrafting Jesse tree ornaments, pressing cookies depicting angels and nativity scenes....brought meaningful discussions about all these things and more.
We still enjoyed many usual traditions...
and I don't have to tell you that new babies make the best Christmas presents ever...
as does a beautiful bouquet from the man you love...
Today we are all terribly sick and as I was getting up this morning I wondered aloud how I would get through this day....so many things to do....grocery shopping, that trip to the post office....and then I remembered these past few weeks and just smiled. Of course...we'll hold each other close, stay in our pajamas all day, pour over good pages, awe at that Baby still in our manger, and be quiet to the world. It is still Christmas and we can still be quiet.

It really was the most wonderful Advent and Christmas ever. My word for 2011....

Quiet.

13 comments:

MSW Mom Jan said...

What a beautiful post. I was curious would you mind sharing what pattern your china and crystal are? They are lovely. I enjoy your blog.
Happy New Year!

Lauren @ Magnify the Lord with Me said...

This is a beautiful and inspiring post!!!! Less than 3 minutes...that's got to be a record! Love the picture of your flowers! And your sweet baby boy!

Christine said...

Where did you get those lovely cookie presses?

Julie said...

Looks and sounds wonderful! We also keep the "less is more" idea in mind this year... and the outcome was the best!

Mary said...

A stunning post Kristen. I am so glad the Advent and Christmas Season was everything you wanted it to be and so much more. Simple is always better. It makes us appreciate the true abundance in our lives.
I would love to know where you got the beautiful cookie press? Things that celebrate our Catholic culture in the kitchen in such a beautiful way are hard to come by.
Blessings and Grace be abundant in your "quiet" New Year.

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

Oh, I envy you!! I want to try this for our family next year!! Wonderful!!!

mom of said...

How wonderfully you articulated the beauty of a simple Christmas! Our Christmas was simple, too- my husband recently suffered a heart attack, and we are so grateful for his strong recovery! Needless to say, we had to keep everything low key- but my family ended up having a Christmas filled with joy, and gratitude for the blessings we have received! Attending the Christmas Eve service together, a simple supper Christmas Eve, and spending a quiet Christmas day together added up to a beautiful holiday! Happy New Year-
Mom of 2boyz

Jennifer said...

This was so lovely to read and I'm so happy you had a quiet, peaceful Christmas.

L. E. Cove said...

Beautiful, Kristen, just beautiful. Wishing your family a blessed Christmastide and Epiphany ...

Kathy said...

Thank you for sharing your lovely Advent/Christmas with us:-)

Kristen Laurence said...

Thank you, everyone. Merry Christmas!

MSW Mom Jan, the china is "Delamere" by Spode (I have the brown). It was a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law one year. I love it. I'm not sure of the brand of the crystal, but they are made in Poland.

Mary, the cookie molds are from houseonthehill.net

Celeste said...

Thank you for this post. The quiet life comes naturally to me (I am such a homebody and introvert!), but interior quiet does not. It looks like your celebration had both--just lovely!

Karen said...

I can't get over how beautiful those cookies are! Those molds would make perfect gifts, too. I love Christmas... *sigh*