M for Merry + Bright
It is a silent night in the new Cronin casa.
Most is calm (minus the kitten discovering the sound a stray bottle cap makes on the tile).
All is bright (we just installed our pendant lights).
I look at the glistening twinkle lights that merrily gleam around our artificial tree. How simple yet how reminiscent a string of tiny bulbs can be to the once-a-child-of-Christmas.
I’m reminded of my mom bustling around the kitchen with flour handprints on her apron, scraps of wrapping paper on the kitchen table, and the sounds of Amy Grant’s holiday melodies spinning on the stereo.
I’m reminded of the cinnamon candle aglow on the countertop, my final exam study guide on the couch, and the jingle of my dad’s keys as he walks through the front door with a smile.
I’m reminded that my brothers and I never went one Christmas under mom and dad’s roof without being told how much we were loved, valued, and chosen.
My parents had a creative way (both financially and biblically) on how they maneuvered about Christmas.
Each of us kids received three gifts:
Something you want,
something you need,
This process represents the three gifts Christ received from the three wise men (See Matthew 2:11). The annual gifting trio we each received sparked creativity, simplicity, and thankfulness in both the receivers and the givers. This is easy on both of the wallet and the heart.
As I continue to be mindful about my thoughts and minimalistic with my possessions, I cannot help but to integrate those same values into my future Christmases with my future children.
It is fun to start your own, new traditions with your own little family. We are already (frosty night hike anyone?)
Take a moment to reflect on what you enjoyed about your childhood Christmas customs and maybe incorporate one of them with your new family traditions. Did your aunt always make the best pecan pie? Ask her for the recipe! (Or suggest an exclusive tutorial with her – you know she would enjoy that more). Did your late grandpa always wear a Santa hat when you would visit him on Christmas Day? Throw one of those bad boys on your noggin as you pass out the presents.
As for me, I will be wrapping 3 gifts for my husband before climbing a mountain with him, travel mugs filled with hot cocoa, on December 25th.