What a delightful few days! Christmas this year was wonderful. I really enjoyed myself, and enjoyed spending time with everyone that I got to see.
It started a week ago when we had our "first Christmas" in Georgia. I got to see family that I hadn't in a long while and celebrate with them. My favorite presents from this gathering were Best Buy gift certificates and the Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition. I also enjoyed going to a nearby park and taking pictures. Some of them turned out well.
Thursday Josh headed back from Muncie & stopped at my house on the way. We got to spend some good alone-time, which I felt we hadn't had in a long while, and played silly games and had a ball. He spent the night so we could get out relatively early the next morning.
Christmas festivities geared up again on Friday with Josh's family's annual Christmas party. We first went to his brother's house to exchange gifts, then to the bigger party. This year's party was different for me than last year because, last year, I barely recognized the people at the party and felt like a stranger in the group. This year I felt a part of the family more. I recognized faces and knew names, I had seen many of them throughout the year, not just at this get-together. I still had a couple unfamiliar faces to be introduced to, and still managed to call someone by the wrong name and embarass myself, but all-in-all, it was a great party. Gifts from Christmas Eve I was very excited about included headphones, Return of the King Extended Edition, tea, and a new mug.
After the family Christmas party, we headed to Grace for the Christmas Eve service. It was a quiet, informal service, ending with Silent Night and candlelight as all Christmas Eve services tend to. The message I appreciated, it was on John 1:14, quoted from the Message: The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood. I like that interpetation. God came down among us, 'into the neighborhood' to get our attention and walk in our dust and feel our pain. That's what Christmas and the fancy word 'Incarnation' is all about.
Christmas morning was delightful as well. I had a lot of fun shopping for everyone this year, opposed to past years when I have been lost as to what to buy- this year I was excited about my choices. Everyone seemed pleased. After presents with the family, Josh showed up and we all had brunch then exchanged gifts with my Josh & Caroline's Josh. My parents got my Josh a coat, which I was very excited about. I got him speakers, which I hope he likes and work well for him. And then the big surprise... He got me a gorgeous bracelet which I was very delighted with. I was very proud of him for picking out something so perfect. I was flattered too, that he would get me something so nice. My parents got me games I asked for- Trivial Pursuit and Super Scrabble as well as the movie The Big Kahuna. Oh! And a cordless mouse I'm excited about. And O'Reilly books.
After presents at my house, we went to Josh's house to exchange presnts with his family & brother's family. We then spent the rest of the day playing with Josh's two-year-old nephew, which was tons of fun. I got more tea from his brother, and we had some of that in the evening before I left. A wonderful day.
Sunday morning, I literally woke up smiling. I had already had a glorious two days, and Sunday was a third. I went to church, had lunch, took a nap, played Super Scrabble with my dad (and won!) and went to dinner with the family. A nice, quiet day. Wonderful.
Today has been quiet and lazy as well. Josh & his brother are coming by for lunch, then heading to Muncie for a few days. I'm going to go visit them tomorrow for a little bit.
Exciting stuff. I know I had something more profound to say here, but in the course of things, I've forgotten what it was. It will come to me later. I hope everyone else's Christmas has been as delightful as mine!