I love Christmas.It's such an incredibly special time for me. While I was growing up, I was blessed with a grandma who loved Christmas as much as I do today. Everything from my love to Christmas, Disney, and crafting comes from her. She was a pretty stellar lady.
Her Christmases were so magical and filled with wonder and true family bonding. I have the best memories because of those family gatherings. When I was I think, 9-years old, I received my very first American Girl Doll, Samantha. We went to Christmas Eve mass at St. Mary's or St. Mark's and then headed to my grandma's house. It was my family, my cousins, aunt, uncle, and grandma. We usually had to have Christmas Eve dinner first and grandma had some sweet networking connections with Santa because he stopped at her house first and we were allowed to check out our presents once we were done with dinner. As a child, I was always amazed by this. I distinctly remembering walking from the dining room, through the kitchen, and then into the living room where my grandma's Christmas wonderland was displayed. Each of the kids had a section that Santa had created and in my section was Samantha. It's on a family video somewhere but I was screaming, I was so happy.
Fast forward to 2011 and my husband is deployed to Afghanistan and I am home for Christmas. My mom, brother, and I take a trip down to Chicago and check out the American Girl Place while we're there. If you've never been, it's a pretty awesome place. If you haven't checked out Conan's video on it, you need to.
He's hilarious and I love it.
Back to the story...
While we're looking through the store, my mom comes across the doll, Julie and the doll is gorgeous. My mom is from the Philippines and grew up very poor. She had several brothers and sisters on a farm and they had no money. They would fabricate toys out of whatever they had and as a little girl with a really expensive doll, I heard stories of my mom creating dolls out of spare bottles and a cloth wrapped around it. At that moment, I knew my mom would love this doll but at the time I didn't have the money for it.
Well this December, Ryan and I decided to get my mom the Julie doll and I wanted her to be completely surprised. We mailed it to my mother-in-law's house and she prompted to wrap it (which is awesome, love her). My dad picked it up and this morning we Skyped in with them while watching the Disney Christmas Day Parade (my favorite). I had tears in my eyes as my mom was opening it and she loved it!!
I love Christmas for reasons like this. The past couple years I've had a hard time with Christmas because we've been away from family but these are the moments that make Christmas. The Lord gave us the ultimate gift of his only son. He gave us Jesus to take on our worldly issues and problems and to be a guiding light for us. This time of the year is a celebration of love, faith, and hope. For me this moment was something I had wanted to execute for years and not for the materialistic reasons of physically giving my mom a present but because I knew that this would mean so much to her. It makes me tear up just writing this post. It means so much to me to be able to give my mom this kind of gift and to share how much I love her. I hope you all have a wonderful, beautiful Christmas or holiday season with your families. God Bless!