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“Mommy, why are we doing all of this? It’s just going to be our family ,Grandpa and Grandma Brown. Nobody else is coming.” My son complained.

“It is for that reason alone, Son. Do we have to have company in order to celebrate?”I bounced back.

JJ knew I was once again searching for the right attitude, instead of the right response.

“No, Mommy.”

“Thank you. We are good enough company for each other and we need to learn how to celebrate at home with just us.”

To his own credit this was something new and different. In fact, this was the first Christmas we have ever had at home-the first! He, like I and the rest of the family are used to having Christmas at somebody elses house-not our own.

You see my husband and I are blessed to have both sets of our parents only twenty minutes away, close and involved in our lives. Both the Brown’s and the Frazier’s each have similar and distinct Christmas and family traditions. It usually all balances out, but there have been many holidays when we tried to split the day, our appetites and our time with each family, equally in half. It can be a bit much.

Not this Christmas.

My sisters-in-law, broke tradition and headed to Cali to see that famous mouse and all his friends. Their trip to Disneyland left my mother-in-law open (and later she would admit relieved) to have Christmas day this year, at our house. Originally I was very happy for them, but very sad for us.

I was saddened that a third of our Brown tribe would not be in attendance, but I a growing excitement was beginning emerge. After fifteen years of marriage we would for the first time be able to host this special day in our own four walls.

After baking gingerbread, sampling the Hubby’s mesquite salmon, chopping up salad sprinkled with candied pecans and dried cranberries, it was time to get to my favorite part of the day-setting the Christmas table.

Lighting the candles and pausing to take in the words inscribe on the three silver and red holders, I stopped to take it all in. They read, “Joy”, “Peace” and  “Noel”.

Joy had exploded in our home, along with wrapping paper the children had torn earlier that morning. It was one of those rare years, where each child was visibly grateful and sincerely satisfied with the gifts that we as parents could afford and humbly selected. I hadn’t spent a full day with my husband since the day after Thanksgiving and here he was all pumped up and inspired to grill up our main entrée.

Peace had come in my surrender of finally allowing the second half of  our twelve days of a family Christmas to come my way-instead of me getting in the way. You see I am a planner. I love to make alive ideas and creative inspiration for every season and excuse of a reason to live my life with intention.  Unfortunately, sometimes my vision for me and mine and God’s sovereign purpose for us all collide.

I’m not sure if you noticed the shift, but after Day 6 my timed and rhythmic stanzas of our 12 days together  came to a halt. And I had to make an executive blogging decision miss posting each scheduled day or miss being in the moment with the family that keeps me inspired.

Peace came when I let go of my pride and other’s perceived opinion of my failure and let my feet and soul touch the ground that was holy right under the ground I was standing on.

Noel is a French word originating from Latin meaning “birthday.” I told my husband earlier today that getting ready for Christmas was a lot like getting ready to bring a real baby home. For months you scrap and save for larger priced items and personalized keepsakes.

You nest cleaning out dirty cobwebs and shine up dusty crystal and silverware. You decorate with fine detail, with selected color schemes and strategize the use of every corner in your home.

Then one day all the fuss and focus of that new promised joy is realized and that baby comes home to live with you. And you celebrate each and every new year with wonder and delight-just like Christmas.



You ask gently, for me to hold you in my heart to dwell

Broken, cracked, flawed soul you keep deciding to choose.

To make a home from dust and clay

Your glory

My life

Please use

I ask you one thing as a request,  for you to never leave

Immanuel-don’t go

Unconditional, pure, holy love

None can take your place

Born in a manger, died on a cross

Is how you exchange my sins for grace 

Your joy-My strength

Your peace-My comfort

Your birth-My hope


and thank you for a very special and MERRY CHRISTMAS…





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