I took Emma and Soren to the Christmas Eve service, and the children's choir and some of the adult choir did a pageant about the kind innkeeper. It was so well done, and the kids really enjoyed it. The service ended with candles being lit around the sanctuary and singing some carols. I wish Jude would have gone with us but he really wanted to stay home, so Tom stayed home with the little ones.
This is the first Christmas that the girls have been with me on the eve and morning, and we really looked forward to it. I let go of my pretensions about "lying" about Santa, and we talked it up, filled stockings after they went to bed, and put all the presents under the tree. The girls woke up at a reasonable time, and we had a frenzy of present opening and joy. Then I made dinner, and my ex-husband, his wife, and my MIL came around 11. We had a delicious meal, and everything turned out perfect.
There was something about turning 36 this week that has been defining. This is also the first Christmas that I have hosted in entirety, and made dinner for. I finally feel the age that I am, I think. (maybe even a little younger for the first time in over 15 years). You see, I was 30 for years and years, and now I've finally grew into my own skin. It felt so good to have Christmas in my own home, serving dinner that I made at my own table, with good silver and matching plates. With family and happy children who got what they wanted, and were joyful and loved. No fighting, no drama, exactly the Christmas I have always envisioned, and that I never had growing up.
It was really, really perfect. Today I will take MIL home and the kids to the museum, then come home and pack to go to visit my mother this weekend (who was pretty much vile on the phone yesterday - the only blemish on an otherwise perfect day).
I feel like we really celebrated the spirit of Jesus' humanity, since we don't accept his divinity, other than in the way that we believe in the spark of the divine in everyone.
I am grateful for the wonderful holiday that we had!