Today we set up our Christmas tree. It seems like the years are passing faster and faster, and the kids now pretty much take care of the tree themselves.
Monkey's idea won out this year...and it was a great one! He chose (and then made) the world to top our tree. Last May we traveled to the Creation Museum and we are studying Genesis in BSF this year, so the creation of the world has been a very common and deep topic around here.
But it also reminds us of all of the friends and family that we love who are far away from us this Christmas - aunts, uncles, sisters, brother-in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews, and all of the exchange students who have spent time in our home.
It is also a reminder that our family is an international one. We came from many different places, but somehow God saw fit to make us one family. For some of our kids, this can be a painful time of year as they think about their birth families who are far away and to wonder if they are being thought of too.
And it reminds us of how a tiny baby came to this world many, many years ago to save us from our sins, but also to save us to something better than just mere existence.
The ornament of Santa bowing to the manger always hangs near the top of our tree as a reminder that the gifts and the decor and the parties are all second (or 80th) to the fact that we celebrate Jesus' coming. When our kids were young, we always helped them hang this ornament and reminded them that Jesus is the real reason for the season. They now hunt for this ornament themselves and make sure it goes on first and at the top.
Mango is holding her turtle Franklin, just in case you were wondering! Squeakers didn't make it into the picture because he doesn't sit nice when the dogs are around (and they don't sit nice when he's around either!).
Merry Christmas from our family to yours! May you see Jesus!