This was our first Christmas, really, as a family of 3. Last year Addie was just 3 months old when this festive holiday occurred, so her participation was limited to staring at the tree's twinkling lights. This year we took Addie on 2 tours of the Tacky Christmas Lights, introduced her to movie classics like "The Christmas Story," allowed her to sample Christmas cookies and watched with glee as she ripped into her gifts Christmas morning.
And yet the holiday felt empty.
Some of that hollowness can be attributed to the dearth of spiritual activities. We didn't attend nary a Christmas pageant nor Christmas Eve service. No caroling or singing of any Christmas hymns. No reading of the Christmas story from the Bible. Seemingly no focus at all on the meaning of this season - save for a toy nativity set that Addie received Christmas Eve, which she promptly shoved in her mouth.
So even with all the trappings of the holiday (commercial or otherwise), I still feel like the day came and went without much stirring in my heart. I didn't pause to rejoice at the thought of God becoming man. I didn't contemplate the awe felt by shepherds as they were visited by angels. Nor did I reflect on how Jesus' birth was the first step in His earthly life that would eventually lead to a cross on a hill.
I wish I could hit repeat and re-do this Christmas season because I feel like it passed by without me so much as glancing past the flashiness to see the humble manger.