Christmas Eve In Canada
We drove almost 12 hours (to put it in perspective, it's usually a 7 - 8 hour trip) through a snow storm to get home. The whole trip was slow-going. We drove down mom and dad's street and there, stuck in the middle of the road, was a car ... we were FIVE HOUSES AWAY and couldn't make it home!!!! Can you believe it? Jack had to get out and help get the guy get unstuck. He was seemingly intoxicated so I suppose it was a good thing he was stuck rather than out driving on the road. Irritating for sure, but as Jack got the guy unstuck and into his driveway, we rounded the bend, and there was my dad, shoveling the driveway so we could get in.
There were times when we were driving through a foot of snow and more than that of drifts on the highway (the plough hadn't made it through but there was nowhere to stop and we were an hour from home) ... and plenty of ice on the roads. At one point when I was driving I hit black ice and the back end started to fish tail ... but Jack was pleasantly surprised as I didn't panic and didn't overreact to the momentum and eventually regained control of the car without going into the ditch. (I think he underestimated my driving abilities =) To give some more perspective, we passed DOZENS (and I'm not exaggerating) of cars and trucks in the ditches, overturned and smashed up. God kept us safe so for that I was so very, very thankful. Winter storms take on a whole new meaning when you have two precious children in the back seat. I don't ever remember being anxious and nervous in winter driving until having children. A little bit of fear is probably a good thing for this Canadian Mama.
Our traditions on Christmas Eve are such a comfort to me. We have homemade soup and bread for supper,
and then we celebrate Jesus' birthday by having birthday cake and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. This year Jackson even ended the song with a hearty "Cha-cha-cha!" Mom got smart and did a carrot cake as the cake - everyone's personal favorite. Not sure why it took us this many years to clomp onto that idea - we just weren't thinkin'. But we most definitely have a new element to our "Happy Birthday Jesus" tradition - carrot cake under the frosting.
This was the first year that Maddie read the Christmas story out of the Bible and did a fantastic job. I sat there looking at her thinking, "Since when can she read the Bible - like the NASB version - not a child's Bible version?" She sat on mom's lap and read and that was most certainly a highlight of the week for me to watch.
We always open stockings on Christmas Eve, which is another favorite tradition. I love getting to open some things one day and then more the next.
And I think, too, that Christmas Eve is usually our first evening home, which just makes everything feel right.
[I just wish Lenny and his family were here, but we know they're being taken good care of in Iowa with Sarah's family.]