Thursday, December 23, 2010

25 Days of Giving:: December 17-23

December 17 was our last day of school for the semester, though we still have two weeks left in this grading period when we get back and that's a little unfinished feeling. We were scheduled for our final co-op and homeschool group Christmas party, but the public schools were closed, so it was cancelled. That too, feels a bit weird...homeschoolers following the public school schedule. But, we want to keep everyone safe and off the roads when they are icy. In reality, that only stopped the formal meeting of our group. Many of us gathered anyway. An impromptu gathering is always the best! We were happy to see some friends who had been out of town undergoing medical treatment. Our group had made a collaborative quilt for them and we were able to give it to them. It turned out beautifully and was made with so much love.

Over the weekend we continued work on our handmade gifts and went to visit Brice's birthmother and her family in Northern KY. We drove into Cincinnati and took in the magical train display at the Duke building, then back to their house for an evening of fun and fellowship. Of course, Brice was his lively self and entertained the entire bunch. Later in the week, we met his birthfather and his family for dinner and play. I am so thankful for this opportunity to grow our family beyond the traditional. We are so blessed.

Giving this week has focused on getting ready to give to our families over the break. The kids also have taken the time to help each other with chores and games...even when said act of giving was not a part of our advent calendar. I'm hopeful that some of this prescribed generosity will continue into our new year.

On Tuesday, before our final rush to get ready for our holiday trip, we celebrated Winter Solstice and had our friends over for holiday movies and snacks. We are very grateful for our friends here in Georgetown...of all ages. We are hours away from family, but the love of our friends here has helped make it feel like home. We are very lucky.

Last night, I went to my last Nia class of the year. It was work to convince myself that it was ok to stop all the frantic preparations for a couple of hours to myself, but I decided to treat myself. I am so glad I did, as I am every single time I go. The fellowship in that class is so positive and encouraging. The instructor is the most joyful person I have ever met. She has the ability to share that joy with all of us and we leave feeling honored and nurtured.

Last night, someone asked if the kids were getting anxious about Christmas and Santa. I took a moment to really think about it and the answer was, "Yes...and No." We do celebrate St. Nicholas and hang our stockings, but our kids just have never been overwhelmed with the anticipation of Santa. They are bouncing off the walls today because we leave for our trip to see family. We have numerous conversations about whom we will see and when, how long we'll stay and what we got or made everyone...but the kids don't even make a list for Santa. Brice is just becoming aware of the legend and he is super excited each time we see Santa in person or on TV, but if you ask him what Santa (whom he often calls Grandpa) does on Christmas he will tell you all about how he flies through the sky with his reindeer and sleigh, NOT how he brings gifts. I like this so much about my kids. They enjoy their gifts, and the joy of Christmas morning is apparent on their faces, but it's not the focus. I don't have a clue how we did it, as parents, but I am so happy that it's happened. I am so proud of them.

So, we are off to spend time with loved ones and sit by the fire at the farm. We'll be back here in a week or so. To all of you, Happy Holidays...all of them. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah (a bit late), Warm Winter Solstice, Sweet St. Lucia Day, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year...and Happy Festivus! May the loving spirit of each fill you with joy.

Love, The Gambills

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