A Very, Merry Christmas
I didn’t know what to expect for my first Christmas away from my family. Would I feel left out? Homesick? Lonely? Christmas has always been such an important holiday for us, for me, so I really didn’t know. In the end, while I missed everyone, it was different, but beautiful, filled with families that I have grown to love here.
Christmas season here is so busy and my schedule completely changed. Horizon Church adopts all the kids from our Saturday kids club and after collecting all the gifts, the women’s ministry wrapped all the gifts, then I helped Sarah organize and plan the party for around 150 kids! I also helped plan a few events for the youth to celebrate Christmas with games, a gift exchange, and cookie decorating.
As Christmas approached, things began to settle down.
I spent the night before Christmas Eve at the Minnick’s house. Typically I don’t go a day without seeing them because I’m either running with Jenn or coming to say hi on my way to the Barrett’s house. They are all so dear to me so this night was very special. Kayden, Alaina, Ellie, and I played board games while Brantlee tried his best to participate. We ate popcorn and watch Annie, 1982 version for the first time (the girls watched the 2014 version twice the next morning cause they loved it so much.)
The next night, after our big Christmas Eve service, I rode home with the Barrett’s for another sleepover. Thomas showed me my bed with pride, “I made your bed em, doesn’t it look great?” (I let him stay up late to watch a Christmas movie with me.)
Christmas morning, Micah sneaks in, “Emily… you said I could wake you up,” I ask what time it is, “um 6:30” I laugh and he jumps in my bed and gives me a big Christmas hug.
The rest of the morning was filled with food, coffee and presents. I got so many special gifts from the Minnick’s and Barrett’s and even opened my gift from my family!
Around noon, things settled down and we packed lunch and headed to the beach with a few other transplant families for the Christmas tradition of sharing food and building a sandman. I laid out for the most part and chatted while the kids played until I had to show Thomas and Jacob who was boss when they thought they could tackle me. Tanned and tired we all headed home for a quick rinse in the neighborhood pool.
I finished the day with a FaceTime call to my family showing off gifts and sharing our days.
It was such a special Christmas and one I will never forget.