It started at 8:30 with cinnamon rolls, sliced oranges and poured eggnog... actually it started at 7 a.m. with my sleepily telling him that it was Christmas and we should get up. Then he told me it was only 7 a.m. and we should go back to bed. So I fell back asleep (No one ever tells you that that is one of the top 5 awesome things about being married... snuggling and waking up together. Awesome!) Then we got up at about 8:30 and got breakfast ready- as I got dressed he brought all of the breakfast stuff into the living room- since he's stuffed my stocking last and he didn't want me seeing it. :)
Let me just say that I have no idea in the world where he hides things! We live in a little apartment and somehow he'd pulled out of thin air everything to stuff into my stocking and put on the mantel above my stocking! I was shocked! We prayed, ate a little breakfast and then I got him to open his stocking first. We love going slow and telling stories about where everything was found, our thoughts about it etc. I gave him a smattering of his favorite candies and the world's best licorice (Tubi's Tire Tread Licorice) that I got through our natural foods coop. Snider's pretzels, mini apple and peach sparkling grape juice etc. He filled mine with little things that he grew up having in his stocking. A Princess Pez Dispenser with Pezs (I'd never had them), candles, Almond Joy M&Ms in a tube with a football on one end- because he's proud of the New England Patriot's fan that I've become. :)
Biltmore Estate!! (He's never been and always wanted to!) :) A toolbox (He'd been wondering for ages where his tools had been... I'd wrapped them inside!), Home Alone 2 (He'd bugged me for the last MONTH about wanting to find it at the Library, rental places etc and no one had it.... it was under the tree the whole time!) Then he got me to open a red envelope that had a beautiful card in it and then he pulled out a surprise gift....
Let me preface this gift by saying that the Friday before Christmas - we'd gone up to the mountains to sled.... it was too windy- so we didn't , but I'd been trying to catch this one little store during a time it was open and Friday we hit the right time and day and Bless Your Heart in Boone, NC was open. God lined up a book that I needed to read that day. A book that felt like it was written for me. You know the kind- where you have to look over your shoulder- wondering if someone's been watching your life and then wrote what you needed to hear in a book for your heart. The kind that gets you deep and makes you weep from the bottom of your heart from cover to cover and you don't even care that you're in the middle of a store. That's what I Am Her By M.H. Clark did to me on that snowy day in that little shoppe. Leif just held me as I wept and wept and turned page after page. When I was done- he just held me as I processed and as the Lord held my heart and healed me. After that I put the book down and turned and smelled the most amazing lotion on the face of the earth. Do you ever smell something that makes you want to cry- it just triggers something in your heart and memory that touches you so deep? It was called Believe By Lollia.
That day was so incredible in so many ways, but let me bring us back to Christmas Day... Leif pulled out a surprise gift- after I read his love letter. It was the book that I'd read that day up on the mountain. After I held him and the book and cried... about how much it touched me, him remembering.... Then he brought out one more (Again- where does he hide these things!?) .... and said that sometimes scents help us remember amazing moments in our lives. It was the lotion. Believe.
It was the best Christmas I've ever had. It wasn't the gifts. It was the fact that we were finally together - finally married (those of you that know the whole story understand this!) .... it was a perfect, quiet, memorable first Christmas.
One other thing that made it very very special and memorable is that my brother made it home and surprised us for Christmas! He's in the military- and we didn't think he'd be able to come home.... but he's known since July, and bought his plane ticket three weeks ago... :) Great Christmas Surprise!
Off to take him for Sushi.... what better way to welcome someone home!? :)
Happy New Year to you all!