Children's joy is contagious, and I love them.
Our Christmas feast/party for the children on Sunday was a roaring success.
Yesterday felt extra lonely after all the weekend fun, but hey, I went out and about all by myself...and it was kind of fun! I haven't been to BJ's in months, my membership expired and I didn't feel like plunking it down to rejoin, so I just didn't. Then they lured me in with a $20 rejoin fee, why not? I got my coupon books and walked up and down the aisles, with no one to huff and puff at me to move along! As we all know, prices have gone up, burger was $3.99 a pound there, ouch. I waffled about buying a bag of chicken tenders, then decided not to, it's so much cheaper to make your own out of fresh chicken. I did buy a big bag of frozen meatballs, because their brand is so yummy and there was a coupon. I bought the Stubbs barbecue sauce, too, because...barbecued meatballs in the crockpot is a nice festive snack for Christmas Eve...
I am still not finished with my shopping. It's hard, can I just say that here? I am not complaining that I have too many kids, because I love each and every one of them, but there is the crux of the matter: I WANT EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM TO KNOW JUST HOW MUCH I LOVE THEM. And sorry, but one dinky little gift like a travel mug or a pair of gloves all wrapped up does NOT say I LOVE YOU, YOU ARE SO IMPORTANT TO ME. I feel like I want to extra bless, because there ARE so many of them, and I have this fear, that I'll forget someone, or just get them one thing, and there's nothing else there for them to open when we're opening presents. It's awful. Once, we did Secret Santa, I was responsible for several of the kids' S.S. gifts, helping them, keeping track, ect., and I totally forgot to purchase MY OWN SECRET SANTA GIFT. This is true. When it was my person's turn to get their gift, she sat there all happy and hopeful, and no one moved, and I realized that it was ME that had to give the gift, and I had blanked out completely, and never gotten one. I jumped up and grabbed one with her name on it from under the tree, but I don't think I fooled her, and it broke my heart. I have lived many years trying hard not to do things like this...so it's real.
I spent the past few months saying how I wasn't going to get much for anyone, but then I picture each one of them and I just want to give them everything they could want, and obviously I can't do that. So I shop the sales, and try to get a few things for each...I haven't been babysitting or anything, so I don't have "my own money" this year, so I have only gotten Paul: a new pillow. I mean, what do I buy him with his own money? I hope at least the kids get him something.
It's not all about the gifts, they say, but when Christmas morning comes, it's ALL ABOUT the gifts.
Christmas cookies, I want to bake more Christmas cookies! We are frosting/decorating them with the small children tonight at Activity Club, because there were lots leftover from Sunday. I don't want to make them too early though...so I'll wait. I am not going to eat them, just enjoy making them.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about what Jesus' life here on earth really meant. It's not just a one-and-done, accept Him as your savior, and keep sinning thing. It's an ongoing salvation, but it's such a hopeful and freeing process, not hard and heavy and difficult! All through the days, to sift through those thoughts, to listen to what God has to say, and be faithful to those things...to let go of grudges, and be thankful for things, it's all very simple, but it brings such joy. That's the joy that Christmas brings, and it can last all of our days. Yes, I am very very thankful!