In it were movies from
way back when I was a kid a few years ago like:
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Little Drummer Boy
You know....all those kind of cheesy not really animated but weird puppet-esque characters?
Where....if you remember....somebody always breaks into song and then strange psychedelic hand drawn cartoons float across the screen?
(Please....for the love of Pete....tell me that I'm not the only one who grew up LOVING these movies and scouring the TV Guide until we found the "specials" then staying up late to watch them????)
Anyway, out of the 5 boxes of Christmas things I dragged out of the warehouse these DVD's made it to our new home.
So last night after the kids and I ate dinner (RH went to bed early with a
hunting head cold) I told them that I had a SPECIAL surprise in store.
I turned on the fire and made some hot chocolate (and Earl Gray Latte's for myself and my 11 year old (who is actually a 59 year old stuck in an 11 year old body)) and popped in Santa Claus is Coming to Town.
At first the kids looked at me with raised eyebrows as the animated Fred Astaire dude started singing and waltzing with bunnies.
But.....they got into it.
Seriously. They were giggling and Ethan even asked why the Winter Warlock was so darn mean.
And all four us...with the two dogs...sat cuddled on our built in carpeted couch.
I had one arm around Ethan and one around Carolyn with a big blanket over us.
Rigby (the wolfhound) had her head in Ethan's lap, and Bennett (who is too cool to sit next to me but not yet too cool to watch Christmas specials with me thank God) laid his head on Rigby's back while Jake (the lab) had his head on Bennett's legs.
Good thing the sunken couch is in a 'C' shape.
It was dark and the fire was flickering and the only other lights came from the TV and the Christmas tree.
Then on the screen Kris Kringle announced his decision to deliver gifts on Christmas Eve because that was the day of the year that love came to earth as a little baby in Bethlehem.
"He means Jesus," Carolyn informed me without taking her eyes from the moving puppets.
And as I looked at her,
and even the dogs...
I quietly lost it.
trying not to move
thankful kids are immersed in movie
I was SO
overwhelmed by gratefulness.
Yes....I was grateful for a Christmas-y night in our home...complete with fire, cocoa, tree and Santa movie.
Yes...I was grateful that my 5 year old recognized that Jesus is the biggest gift we've ever gotten.
Yes...I was grateful for all of those things....TRULY.
But honestly (and have I ever been anything else!??!?)?
My mind went to how easily our little gathering could have been changed that night back in May.
How we could have been missing one (or more) of those kids.
How those kids might have been missing me.
How even the dog could have not been here.
So I wonder....am I obsessed with the stupid tornado?
I don't think so.
I function reasonably well......or at least fake functioning reasonably well.
I don't bring it up in conversations every day.
(yes...it does feature in all of my blog posts but anyone who doesn't want to "hear" that kind of talk can simply and effectively click their way to happy-land!)
I don't ask for privileges or concessions because I am a "victim".
I get myself and family around to planned events....sometimes I even take charge of these events!...and
usually everyone even has on clean underwear.
But the thoughts (or memories) are always there.
Hiding behind a corner.
Barely beneath the surface.
Lurking quietly in the background.
Ready to surprise you without warning.
--Sometimes all it takes is a drive across town when you have to see the huge pieces of metal still wrapped around bark-less trees.
--Sometimes it's reaching for your huge container of chili powder that you KNOW you have only to remember that you don't have the stupid chili powder anymore.
--Sometimes it's receiving a Christmas letter from a relative who devotes a portion of it to the Joplin tornado.
--Sometimes it's an innocent question from your kids about "Why don't we have the Christmas mugs out this year" and you have to answer them that you don't know whether or not you still have the mugs because they MIGHT be crammed in the bottom of the warehouse or they MIGHT be broken in the warehouse or they MIGHT be in a neighboring town.
--Sometimes it's watching your daughter and niece play "Tornado" and run for cover under the chairs.
--Sometimes it's.....well....for no reason at all.
And then....well, I'm taken aback by the sudden rush of emotions that come to me.
Sometimes (ok...lots of time) confusion.
I like that last one a LOT more than the others.
I went to an amazing Christmas party last week.
There must have been close to 75 people there, and the food was wonderful, the decorations were amazing, the music was beautiful and the night was all kinds of festive.
But....by the end of the evening...every group I spoke with was immersed in "Where were you/what were you doing/what is your story" conversations about May 22nd.
EVERY SINGLE GROUP.
So....maybe it's not just me?
I've had several people tell me that this blog speaks to them because they sometimes feel similar things to what I've expressed.
So let me express THIS.....
That is so wonderful to hear.
That is so comforting.
It really makes me feel less-crazy.
I have been praying that I will only write the things that God wants me to write....and the fact that I'm being given the reassurance by friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers that I am not alone in some of these things is a blessing beyond words.
So to those of you who have taken the time to tell me that?
It truly means more to me than you can imagine.
And if I only had my Christmas mugs....I would ask you to come have some Christmas cheer with me.
Maybe next year?