Saturday, December 25, 2010


*No worries... this is not a blog post about how people should or should not "do" Christmas gifts.  There are loads of you who are likely still unwrapping the piles of gifts at your home.  There are also some of you have chosen to forgo traditional gifts and instead spent today making homemade soap and weaving baskets for the needy.  I am equally jealous of both traditions.*

Merry Christmas, Bloggitty Blog World.

Today has been for us, well, near perfect.  Many of you have felt the same way.  (Thanks to FB, I feel like I celebrated Christmas with many of you, too.)  The snow in NC set the stage for some magical Christmas moments.

This year, the Johnston family took a new spin on Christmas gifts.  Because of my love of all things gift-giving (like, seriously, I lurve giving and receiving gifts), we decided it was time to reign things in before they got out of control with Miss E.  While I am not disciplined enough to subscribe to the soap-making bent, I whole-heartedly understood my need to reel things in a bit.  We stole borrowed this idea from someone else, and it fit our family perfectly.  Each of us (E, Dan, and myself) received 4 gifts: Something you want, Something you need, Something to wear, and Something to read.  Glory.  Shopping with a purpose?  A theme?  Bring it on.

The majority of gifts for E and Dan centered around our upcoming Disney trip (or their mutual love of all things Disney).  My gifts were, quite honestly, some of the most special- and thoughtful- that I've gotten.  The surprise gift (Dan and E both totally had me fooled on this!) was my first (and second, and third) piece(s) of art from Sam, The Dot Man.  Super.  Tears.  Perfect.

So, given that there were only 12 gifts to open amongst us (and Santa brought the 2 things E'd asked for), the frenzy of present opening in our house was over rather quickly.  It's amazing to me that when the last gift is opened my heart immediately reverts to how it did when I was E's age and realized the last gift had been opened... in full disclosure, I have a moment of sadness.

We inventoried our "loot", ate breakfast with my mom, then sadly told her goodbye as she headed west in hopes of beating the snow.  Before I even had a chance to feel sad with our quiet house... it happened.  My Christmas Gift began:




Through the drama and the fun of the last few weeks, God knew I needed some rest.  And today, of all days, He gave me the gift of it.  We laid on the couch.  We watched movies.  We organized our purses... okay, that was just me.  We bathed our dogs.  We listened to a Snow White CD in E's room... multiple times.  We snacked.  We ate.  We laughed.  We kissed.  We hugged.

And that, my friends, was a gift.

I have always longed for a big family.... a house full at the holidays.  And, yes, over a period of time, we've had that full-house.  But today- on the day of my Lord's birth- He gave me what I needed rather than what I thought I wanted.  He gave me peace.  And with it I got rest.  And with that, I got joy.

My delightful daughter was the perfect picture of a child on Christmas today.  She wore her PJs all day and played with her toys 'til she could hardly play anymore.  My Christmas gift to you is to share with you some of her loveliness... butt crack and all.  In this scene, she was taking her new "Tangled" doll outside to play with her.  Well, that's what I thought was happening, which is why I asked her if she needed a coat.

After the shot ended, she told me that was all she wanted to do... she just needed to take her doll outside because (she thought) it sings "now I see the sun"... and she wanted God to hear it.  (Hence, the raising to doll toward heaven.)

Joy to the world.  Merry Christmas to all.


sherri said...

um, pretty cool. merry, merry, merry christmas to you guys. xo, s

sherri said...

p.s. sam the dot man is awesome!