We brought a few decorations to Christmas-up our hotel room. I wanted to have a tree, but couldn't find our small one. I figured I'd be able to pick up something cheap at a store, but there were none to be found! We had to have a tree!
I walked into the lobby of the hotel and took a tree from the center of one of the breakfast tables.
The children were aghast that I would "steal" from the hotel.
I reassured them that the tree was still in their hotel and it would be back in the center of that table by midday. No one would be the wiser.
Still, the children laughed in their shock at their mother's audacious thievery.
And on Christmas, no less!
Eliza had received a sweet nativity made from wooden blocks from her church leader. We talked about each character in the scene as a sort of advent. That small act helped bring Christ into our celebration.
Daddy read Luke 2, as usual, but this time it struck me. We were physically very close in our hotel room and our children are old enough, collectively, to actually sit and listen to the Christmas story.
Remember, we were in the very hotel where we had celebrated our honeymoon all those years ago. Looking at my husband and being in that place, I easily drew up the memory of our first Christmas when he read the Christmas story aloud to just me. In 1997, I dreamed about the scene that was playing out in front of me; my good husband reading the treasured scripture to a room full of children.
This is precisely the place I've always wanted to be.
Filling stockings with trinkets and candies all wrapped in crinkly cellophane proved to be a formidable challenge to Santa. With sleeping heads mere inches from the tree, the process was interrupted more than once with a panicked switching off of the tiny lights and a hushed, "Go back to sleep. It isn't morning yet."
Santa, it was proven, could in fact find us even though we were far from home.
He didn't bring us all of his presents, though, because there was no room in our hotel to put them.
Did you know Santa sends emails?
I didn't either, but we got one. The children were thrilled to learn that there would be one more gift upon our return home.