Thursday, December 27, 2007

First Christmas

Christmas is my favorite holiday, although you might not realize that due to my passion for St. Patrick's Day. I love Christmas because you get to give gifts. That's right, emphasis on give, not receive. Thanks to Dr. Gary Chapman, I learned a few years ago that my primary love language is receiving gifts. Now I do love getting presents but what I really love is to get thoughtful presents. Anyone can buy a candle or lotion set- those are fallback gifts and incidentally I can't wear scented lotion due to my sensitive skin. But when you take a few minutes to think about people's interests and what they would really like...that's where I feel most loved. I do take pride in my present-giving abilities, whether it's for a loved one or a White Elephant.
Speaking of White Elephant gifts, this is what my dad's side of the family does. For my present I gathered all the lotions and shower gels I could find in my apartment (that belonged to me and not my roommate) and put them in a canvas bag along with a rubber duckie. These scented gifts had accumulated over the years and since I will be moving again this spring, I figured someone in my family would appreciate them. Aunt Patti was the lucky winner and she was quite thrilled with her pick. Christmas with the Kramer side had a few lighthearted moments but I think it can be aptly be summed up in my dad's words: "At least nobody cried."

Christmas morning was with my parents and my brother, in from Virginia for a week. We had our traditional coffee cake and prayer time. Then came the presents! Everyone loved what I got them- yay! I was blown away by my family's generosity. I'm very excited to be the proud owner of a slow cooker. Now I can make a nice meal for myself without slaving over the stove when I get home from work!

Christmas with the Petit side was at Uncle Terry and Aunt Sue's this year. I was a little apprehensive about our first Christmas without Grandma. Her presence was definitely missed but we are doing our best to start some new traditions. It wasn't the same but it was still a good holiday. It is always good to spend time with my family and eat some good food, especially when Jon deep fries the turkey. Grandma always read a story and a prayer before we could open presents. This year Heather read the Nativity story and I read a story by Max Lucado, Grandpa's favorite author. Then we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and Kelli blew out the candle on His Christmas muffin. After all the presents were opened, I passed out the Memory Books I had made which covered Grandma's last few months. I was a little nervous about how they would be received but everyone really appreciated the effort. I sat with Grandpa while he looked through it and cried. It was therapeutic for me to put the book together so I guess my hope is that it will be therapeutic for my family to look through it. It was a good Christmas but it seemed surreal. Still, it was a start.


Adam LOVES the presents I got him!

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