Now that Christmas has come and gone it is time to reflect on the holiday. We had many good time this holiday season from shopping with Grandma Stoker, Christmas parties, and lots of food. Between listening to Christmas songs, watching Christmas movies, and eating all the Christmas treats it is easy to lose sight of the real meaning of this holiday. The birth of the Savior in a manger by a mother who was barely in her teens traveling on a donkey for 4 days straight. What a wonderful gift Heavenly Father gave all of us a brother and Savior who was both human and the son of God. Without him we would be lost in this devastating world. Without Mary's faith we would not have been saved.
This year the story of the Savior's birth had a different meaning to me. I was reflecting on all that Mary and Joseph went through when they found out the virgin bride was with child. It must have been so hard for them to have so much faith, and they must have been incredibly righteous beings to be chosen to raise the Son of God. As a parent I know how much goes into raising children and giving birth. Her sacrifice gives me a deeper respect and gratitude for her and her family.
We celebrated Christmas with all of Brandon's family this year which has been wonderful. All of his sisters, their significant others, and his brother in one house. It is a full house, but a happy house. Jackson loves all his Aunts and Uncles and has been taking advantage of all his new friends that he can drag around the house. Elizabeth loves the fact that she is held almost every second of the day, even when she is sleeping of Felipe's lap. I is such a blessing to be with family.
We spent most of Christmas eve day talking, eating, and preparing for our tradition of appetizers on Christmas eve by candlelight. Then we listened to Phil share the story of Jesus's birth and shared our insights. Then we put on our Christmas pajamas, and opened a few presents before watching It's a Wonderful Life (a Stoker Family Tradition). In the morning we woke up to Santa's presents in piles around the room and the yummy smell of cardamon bread. We all ate breakfast together and then opened the rest of the presents. Jackson wasn't too interested in opening presents for some reason, he was more excited about the fact that under the tree was open so he could crawl underneath it. Finally I got him to open his presents and then he was really excited about all the fun stuff he got. His favorite so far is his bubble mower and his big wheels but he is loving all his new toys and books.