Post Christmas pain

It went so fast and it’s so totally, completely over. Hallelujah. For the sake of my failing brain I must document this year’s magic before it gets crowded out with a year’s worth of grocery lists and to do’s.

Once again we did our 12 Days of Christmas Nativity give away. We have a very sweet neighbor lady who just can’t seem to catch a break. She’s lonely, all her grandkids live on the other side of the country and I don’t think she hears much from anybody. Life is hard for her, you can tell she works herself to death and shoulders all the anxiety and worry that comes with no retirement.

Man, we are lucky. If you have a job and a loving family and a house that is securely in your possession, you are a blessed individual. Make no mistake.

Last year we did sock/rice figurines but due to the large collection of rocks in my backyard I decided to take a note from Pinterest and we did a hand painted rock nativity. Here’s just a few of them, forgot to take a photo of the rest before they got dropped off.


It was really cheap and really fun.

My kids probably got caught at least three times trying to deliver rocks to the neighbors (delivered, not thrown).

The Sunday before Christmas we took her to church with us and during a quiet moment she confessed that she has felt so alone and so forgotten, getting her little people each night made her feel like someone had remembered her.

Jesus remembered. Honestly, I was too busy to do it this year with such a late Christmas start, but thanks to some Heavenly soul poking we got it together in time and I’ll never put it off again. There are so many lonely people at Christmas time.

We did our homemade Christmas gifts again this year and I absolutely loved watching our kids slave away for their siblings. Jason made Harry two secret hiding place dictionaries (the man probably spent a good 8 hours on his gift this year), I made Rex a terrarium, June made me a ton of awesome rings with turquoise stones, Georgia painted Daddy a BYU pillow case, Harry made Georgia the coolest felt play set with an old suitcase and some foam core board, and Rex made June a doll house.

Let’s talk about Rex for a moment. He was the first person done with his gift and I was extremely worried. You can’t tell Rex what to do and he threw together a doll house with an old box, tape and some ear of corn yellow pokers (dead serious) and had it wrapped and under the tree before I even had a chance to intervene.

Now June takes gift giving very seriously and I was really worried that she was going to be disappointed with his…okay I’ll just say it, it was a dollhouse for the homeless.

But when June opened up Rex’s totally beat up repurposed USPS priority mail box she acted like he’d given her the Taj Mahal, and then proceeded to spend two hours making things to go into it.

Never underestimate the value of a homemade gift when it’s given with love.

Was it a perfectly magical Christmas with no yelling or fighting? No. We got the flu right before Christmas and I was so sick on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that we had to cancel our Mexican Caroling this year. It seriously broke my heart, Harry had been practicing his trumpet and we had awesome families planning to come with us. Next year.

All told, however, it was a beautiful Christmas. We left a few days after and spent the New Year in Alpine with Jason’s family and it was such a fun reunion. Jason hasn’t seen his brother in almost four years and we enjoyed every second of it. They live up in Washington and we really hope they stay in that area in case magic ever happens and we can move home.

It was hard to come back to this cement desert on Sunday, I’m not going to lie. For those of you who move on a semi-regular basis you’ll understand what I mean when I say that some places instantly feel like home and some just never do. It’s okay, it’s part of the process. But we all felt pretty deflated coming back here. I could now count my blessings and tell you why I shouldn’t feel that way but I’m not in the mood. Just know that I know what they are and I’m cool with it here. Doesn’t mean it’s ever going to be my favorite place.

And so that’s it, Christmas in a blog post. Posterity should be satisfied.