Sunday, December 26, 2010

The 2010 Gerling Christmas Letter

Considering that I tried my best to get all of our Christmas letters out a few weeks ago, but know that I either missed someone, didn't have the right address, or any address for that matter, 
I wanted to be sure that if you didn't receive one, that you can still read it here :)

Merry Christmas! I hope this Christmas season brings you
warmth and joy as we anticipate the celebration of the birth of Christ!

Well, here I am writing the Gerling Christmas Letter Vol. 3. I began this Christmas letter writing as a simple challenge to attempt to do what my grandmother always did this time of year which was send out a letter to family and friends updating them on the past year. I thought it would be a one year attempt, and yet here I am writing the 3rd edition. I’ve realized that my simple challenge has become a joy to do each year, and I
secretly look forward to writing it, printing it, running out of ink, running to the store for more ink mid-project, licking every envelope because I’ve forgotten to buy the ‘peel and seal’ kind, and sending Alan out for yet another roll of stamps because I simply hate math and never seem to know just how many stamps come in a book, thus I am always left needing more.

Another secret joy of the Christmas season for me is putting up the Christmas tree early, stringing white lights everywhere, baking sugar cookies with Alan and curling up on a cold winter’s night to watch White Christmas and Polar Express. My Christmas letters usually reflect this, with opening lines like, “I sit here quietly watching the snowflakes gentle fall toward earth while sipping my hot mocha and reflecting on this Christmas season...,” but this year is different: I am a mom. To a one-year-old! The extent of my Christmas decorations at the moment consist of snowflake window clings for Isaac and his Little People Nativity
playset, which at the moment is missing the Baby Jesus whom we lost somewhere back in Iowa at
Thanksgiving, {Christmas without Jesus...hmm...I sense a devotional in there somewhere}, and the only chance at life that this letter has is that Isaac’s nap lasts long enough for me to write it!

But if you asked me, I don’t mind that I’ve missed out or am behind on some of my usually Christmas
traditions because we are blessed to have that little guy in our lives, and are soaking up every minute of him. I can hardly believe he is one already, and am so thankful for the joy he has brought to us when he joined us last year. Though he is not walking just yet, he is very close, and we believe it will happen by Christmas! With that said, we’re a bit nervous about putting up a Christmas tree for fear that little hands might try to pull themselves up on it, and thus end up with a tree upon them!

Each Christmas seasons causes me to reflect on things and people I hold most dear, but it also reminds me of the things I am most thankful for, and among the ways we have been blessed this year would be Alan’s
position at Grace {we truly love serving there!}, the Lord’s provision for a fall filled with photosessions for me {I’ve had the joy of photographing some truly amazing families this year!}, the many new friendships we have made this year, and the realization that we are not, nor ever will be, perfect parents, but by the grace of God we will hopefully continue to figure out this parenthood stuff.

My tree may not yet be up, the advent candle not yet on the table and the cookies not yet decorated, but I
am still filled with the warmth this season brings, the joy of celebrating Christ’s birth, the memories of
Christmases past,  and the love of family and friends both near and far.  I pray your hearts may be filled
with the same wawrmth, and that your Christmas be merry and bright.

With love,
The Gerlings

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