Monday, December 30, 2013

The Best Christmas Present is a Memory

There comes a time in your life, or maybe it's an age, where you realize what Christmas is truly about.  I mean for me it's truly about Christ's birth and the sacrifice that he and God made for us.  The whole Christmas story is truly amazing if you focus on it and really think about what it meant to all involved.  When you are a kid it's all about the presents and what Santa brought and the magic of the season.  And to be honest for a long time as an adult it was all about me and what I was going to get.  Even after we had kids I was a bit selfish and wanted specific items from my husband and bless him he always tried his best.  But a few years back my mindset shifted.  It wasn't about me anymore.  I still do love getting presents don't get me wrong but I don't go looking for them or shake them or really care to open them right away.  I want to give presents.  I absolutely LOVE making my Christmas list of who all we get to buy for and what we are going to get them.  I try to come up with special items that they will like.  I don't like giving gift cards unless it's something I know they will love.  And for the last few Christmases that has been my focus.  To find the most special and exciting or unique gifts for people.  Some people like clothing or jewelry, some like kitchen wear, and some like outdoorsy things!  And some people on our list want nothing for themselves and have instructed us to donate to a charity.  For the last 4 years we have given to a charity called World Vision (visit them here). Each year we pick something special that they might like to give.  This charity gives to people in Africa (I believe) different items that you gift.  So one year it was bibles, another ducks, this year it was a share of a donkey.  So many neat gifts that make you feel good, and the people that you are donating for feel good also.

But yesterday I got one of the BEST gifts I've ever gotten.  I got a memory. To make a very long story short both of my grandparents are fighting cancer.  Praise the Lord my grandma's is very treatable and she is going to be just fine! But my grandpa's prognosis wasn't so good.  He was originally told with no treatment he would have 10 months.  Praise the Lord again that we have had about 15 months with him and he got some absolutely miraculous news at the Dr a few weeks ago.  We all pray that we get a little more time with him but know that God could take him at any time.  When talking about Christmas this year we all had an underlying knowledge that this could be our last with him.  So my grandparents did something amazing!  Instead of gifts, they gave us all a memory.  They rented out 4 horse drawn carriages and took everyone in the family on a ride. We had Christmas at their house and enjoyed lots of laughs like always and then we split up and headed downtown for our carriage ride.  It was absolutely freezing out but I wouldn't trade this night for anything.  I took a few pictures of Mr. J & the boys but Miss V decided she wanted to ride with her grandpa (my biological dad) and his girlfriend, my brother and his girlfriend.  I was a little upset at first but it sounds like she was the life of the carriage and I'm thankful for their willingness to have her with them.

I don't normally share pictures of our family but I feel it's important to share this one.  I want to always have this picture somewhere in our house (at least until next year when we take a trolley ride around a park to look at lights!). These two people are the most loving, funny, caring,  courageous, and just generally the most amazing people.  They have been married 50 years and I have learned so much about what marriage is like from them.  Thank you Grandma & Grandpa for the memory.  This is one I will NEVER forget!

Go hug someone you love EXTRA tight. Or call them and tell them how much you love them!  Life is WAY too short!

Love, Lacey