Only two days away from Christmas, I’m sitting in the early morning darkness beside a brightly lit tree, reflecting on the meaning of this season: the miracle of the birth of Jesus and the message of compassion, hope, love, charity, forgiveness and grace that Jesus brought to our world. During Christmas, we hold the people we love close to our hearts, whether or not we are together in flesh or in spirit. We celebrate the joyfulness of both giving and receiving, and we express our overwhelming thankfulness for the blessings in our lives.
This year, Elie surprised me with tickets to see A Christmas Carol at the ACT Theatre in Seattle. He had never read Charles Dickens’ story, much less seen the production. We both left the theater with tears in our eyes, and as we went back to our hotel, I reminisced with Elie about the Christmases of my past and why it’s such an important holiday to me. I feel incredibly blessed to have experienced the Normal Rockwell version of Christmas in my youth, with a warm home smelling of cedar and cinnamon, laughter, abiding faith, a loving family, and an abundance to be thankful for, even in the midst of the occasional strife from which no person or family is immune.
As I hold this 34-week baby inside me, I feel an overwhelming desire for Bubbles to know the security, the warmth, the joy of Christmas and all this holiday symbolizes, for Elie and me to create our own traditions to celebrate unconditional love and grace. I want Bubbles to experience a joyful home, one of acceptance and forgiveness. At Christmas, we celebrate the grace and assurance of knowing God loves us as we are; God is always here for us, holding us up, even in our darkest days. And at Christmas, we are reminded of the miracle of life, celebrating the unconditional love of our parents and also the support and guidance of other loving adults in our lives, both family and our community of friends.
A few weeks ago, Mom planned a baby shower for me, gathering 30 women in our home to celebrate the arrival of this sweet baby. I looked around the house and felt overwhelmed with love. My Granny and my Aunt Debbie flew in from Kentucky to be here to celebrate Bubbles. My Aunt Teri and my cousin Jamie drove up from Oregon. My dear friend, McKenzie, flew in from California. Many of our family drove down from Vancouver. And I looked around the room and saw so many of the friends I have made since moving to Bellingham, women who have become family to me. All of these women Bubbles can turn to when he or she needs another ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on. And they have all been such a source of encouragement and love and excitement for me and for Elie, as we await Bubbles’ arrival.
As I listened to the laughter and chatter in our home that morning, I was deeply reminded that when we live a rich life, we don’t walk alone. When Mom first brought up the shower to me, I admit I was resistant. The thought of so much attention focused on me, the thought of creating a baby registry, of knowing people would bring presents—it all felt overwhelming, like too much attention. It’s so much easier and more comfortable to give than to receive. But as I ease into this transition to motherhood, I’m working on humbleness, of embracing accepting, receiving, to yielding to the unknown.
I am so grateful to Mom for hosting the shower, to my friends and family for showing up and both literally and figuratively showering us with such abundant love. As we count down the last six weeks, more or less, until this little human arrives in our life, I feel content and loved and blessed by a miracle.
From my family to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. xoxo
I would like to thank Mom for hosting the shower. Mom has always been my biggest supporter, champion and cheerleader, and I look forward to learning what it’s like to give love in that way with my own child.
Thank you to Mataio and Jessica Gillis and the team from Ciao Thyme for creating such a beautiful and delicious brunch for our shower. Everyone is still raving about those laminated biscuits!
Thank you to Matt Land of Matthew Land Studios for showing up early to take family photos and to get some early pictures as people started to arrive.
Thank you to our family and friends for showing up for us, for giving, and for your love.
Thank you to Elie, for with you, everything is possible.