Saturday, January 1, 2011

Upside-down Christmas

Well we are a couple days out from Christmas now, and it's hard to believe how fast my favorite holiday of the year comes and goes!  Now the countdown begins until Christmas 2011!  We had a relaxing day yesterday at home, Casey did a CRAZY trail/mountain run with some guy friends, we had a pool party and braai with our 'connect group' - mostly American families who we live near, and then had a quiet night at home.  I love these long summer days; they feel lazy and sweaty, and then breezy and cool and happy at night.  So wonderful.

We caught up all day with friends and family (here and through afar through email and skype) and shared about our CRAZY Christmas many times.  It has been so interesting to reflect on Christmas this year, and what this holiday is evolving into for us.  It is especially meaningful coming to this holiday and the end of the year living in Ocean View, and celebrating with our 'family' there that Jesus is born among us once again.  In Ocean View it's a time of celebration and party - people save up all year to have a huge meal and a great time.  On Christmas night, LATE into the night, people are roaming the streets, shouting, dancing, and still celebrating.  Not all the celebration is 'sober' but it's all happy nonetheless :)

Everyone asks how Kieren liked Christmas this year, did she enjoy Santa, etc.  What is hilarious is without meaning to, we completely made Christmas NOT about Kieren!  My parents had sent a box of presents that were wrapped, but because customs went through them, one was ripped and I could see the cute face of a 'Dora the Explorer' doll waiting to be Kieren's new best friend.  We get Nickelodeon and Disney channels here, but Kieren LOOOOVES Dora and is pretty much obsessed with it.  We have to majorly limit tv around here because that girl could watch it for days!  We will get to the rest of the presents some day, the goal is to open them all before Christmas 2011 :)  There is really no need to hurry because she is so happy with what she has already and it's so much more than any kids in our area - a dose of perspective goes a long way.

I am so thankful for our Christmas this year and I feel like God really helped me to focus on this year and soak up all the moments.  It was beautiful and celebratory and holy in all the right ways.  We created new traditions and spent time with people that we love.  We will always miss our family and friends who are not with us on these special days, but we are so grateful that God is creating another family here to be with us and share these days.

Lots of love,

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