I’m pressing pause on the Christmas festivities here for one hot minute to CELEBRATE YOU.
I could not let the sun set on Christmas Eve without wishing you and yours the merriest of Christmases.
I cannot ever even begin to express the gift that you are to me.
Thank you for the encouragement.
Thank you for showing up.
Thank you for always being there when I needed you the most.
This blog and the thistlewood brand has grown so much this year and it is all because of YOU.
And so I’m signing off for now until after Christmas and leaving you with a story.
What would this holiday be without a really good story about the true meaning of the season?
Every Christmas Eve all the littles (and not so littles) in our family gather together and put on their version of the Christmas story for the rest of us.
We should sell tickets.
There’s Mary and Joseph and shepherds in gold glitter caps and wise men carrying baskets of assorted kitchen supplies and angels with wings and more barnyard animals than you can count.
This year the angels trumpeted so loud the sheep had to cover his ears.
The wise men got impatient with their gifts of myrrh, incense and dish towels that they almost showed up before the baby was born.
No one could control the donkey and he ran around braying and pushing his donkey ears off to grin at the audience.
And one lone sheep went all renegade and brought the house down.
As I sat there watching the Christmas story unfold, I thought about the past few years.
It’s been a challenging one.
So much good. So many amazing things. So many incredibly awesome opportunities.
And so many times when I melted down in the middle of my living room from the overwhelmingness of it all.
We bought the house I grew up in and put a mirror back in place.
We started remodeling the house.
We chose a paint color.
We faced illness in our family.
We struggled with obligations that we tried so hard to meet.
And I wish.
That I wish.
That I wish.
I could tell you I handled it all with grace and dignity and poise and joy.
But I didn’t.
Not. Even. Close.
There are days I wanted to scream from all the responsibility.
I knew I should be happy.
I saw all the blessings that swirled around me.
I tried to count them and tell myself this was an incredible journey and remind myself how lucky I was every minute of every day.
But all I wanted to do was go back to bed.
And pull the covers over my head.
And hide from all the responsibility.
And then along came last Christmas Eve.
The living room was full. It was piled to the brim with my family and my husband’s family. All the littles and the bigs coming together to celebrate the reason for the season and the birth of an amazing savior. There were rooms full of people watching football and rooms full of people playing cards and rooms full of people eating coconut shrimp and cheese dip and opening presents and laughing and talking and doing cartwheels in the middle of the room.
The house was bursting at the seams with joy.
And as the lights grew low and the night was almost over, we gathered here to watch the annual Christmas play.
Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus and the wise men and the shepherds and the renegade sheep.
As I looked around at all these faces that I hold so near and dear reflected in the sparkling lights from the tree, I felt my heart catch.
Our lives had come full circle. It had been a challenging couple of years. We had worked and planned and packed and moved and traveled so far and tried so hard and every morning we’d get up and start all over again. It was hard. It was stressful. It was overwhelming.
And I realized right then and there as I watched the angels singing and dancing around a tiny baby Jesus and blasting out the heavenly chorus through a vintage horn covered in ribbons and holly….
….that I would do it all again.
I would relive every step of the journey for this.
Merry Christmas friends
(I think it’s going to be a good one).