Last year, we spent Christmas with Adam's parents. You may remember the little video I made about surprising them. If you don't, you can watch it here, or I will just tell you a little about it.
Adam's parents had asked us a number of times to come out for Christmas, and had even offered to buy us tickets. We decided after a lot of thought that it would be better to stay in Texas. Then, a few days after letting them know, Adam told me he thought we should surprise them by coming out. So we did, and it was incredibly wonderful and memorable.
It did pose a small problem, though. We wouldn't have any gifts in Utah for Christmas morning. We packed super light, and couldn't tell anyone to send gifts to Utah for us, so we just left all our gifts in Texas.
My mother-in-law was so nice and bought us a Christmas book, and gave Fox a book and a stacking toy, but that was pretty much it. No stockings, no big gifts, no expensive jewelry, nothing.
Things tend to go better when you feel prepared for them, so I had been mentally preparing to be totally okay with not receiving any presents on Christmas (I really love getting and giving gifts), and thankfully Fox was still young enough he didn't care much about the presents, but I was still surprised with how the day went.
You know that scene from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," when the Grinch reaches the top of the hill after he has taken all the decorations and gifts from the Who's, and listens for crying on Christmas morning? And how instead he hears cheerful Christmas singing?
The Grinch hears it and thinks to himself, "[Christmas] came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags... What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
I thought I understood the true meaning of Christmas, but last year, my heart glowed with the feeling of love for that baby born in Bethlehem, the beautiful snow falling outside (that was truly magical), my sweet family, and all the things that I have been blessed with. It was truly one of the most special holidays that I have ever had, and it came with very little in the way of physical things.
I am not sure if a knowledge that we wouldn't have presents on Christmas made it that way, or if it was just the magic of a snowy morning with soft Christmas lights, or time with my wonderful family. No matter how it came, I will never forget last year's simple Christmas.