It really was.
Wednesday was not a fun day. I was still sickly, but Christmas was coming regardless of how I felt, and so I had things to do either way. I also had to have my tooth fixed (praise Jesus for dentists - I'm certainly glad not to spend the holidays as a Clampett, but sitting in a dentist's chair is never fun), and my kids were too sick to be outside, and too sick of one another to be in the same room. Boo for Wednesday.
Then Wednesday night Elizabeth and Kris came to dinner, and it was so fun to see them. It felt all It's A Wonderful Life to eat with good friends just before Christmas like that. (By the way, Asher? Loves Kris. And Asher doesn't automatically love anybody - coolness is not assumed, it must be earned. But he loves Kris. Maybe it's the hair.)
And then late Wednesday night I had a phone call, and I fell asleep praying for a good friend. There is a qualitative difference between praying out of obligation and praying out of conviction. That kind of Spirit-led prayer changes me, and leaves me with a clarity I don't find anywhere else. I don't have the words to describe it, but I hope you've had the experience and know what I mean. I fell asleep praying Wednesday night, and woke up Christmas Eve morning full of peace. Malingering runny noses and the predictable overstimulation of the next few days no longer carried the weight they had the day before.
After that, Christmas got good.
My friend Laurie is one of my all-time favorite people, and she has not been in town for Christmas since she left ten years ago. Christmas Eve afternoon she drove down on a whim (she always travels on a whim) and was here to see the kids open gifts Christmas morning. She also got to see her brothers on Christmas morning.
See this picture? The last time it was taken (on Christmas morning), those young men were 8 and 10.
It was so good to have her here.
Later we went to Brian's parents' (Laurie stayed with her brothers), and had the best kind of Christmas dinner. Some friends from church joined us for dinner, and we spent the afternoon watching the kids play. I love having new people at holiday dinners - it shakes things up a bit. Also, my niece Morgan was here this year, and Christmases are always better when she is here. Very fun.
Of course in between the kids opened too many presents and ate too much sugar and did all of the normal Christmas stuff. Asher really got the whole idea of presents this year, and had so much fun at his Grandma's. Then, in the evening, my parents - in typical fashion - descended on my mother-in-law's house and brought entirely TOO MUCH JUNK for my kids with them. Alas.
We went home full in every way.
Happy Day After, everyone.