Family ... it can have a lot of meanings. Moms, Dads, Children, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, Nieces, Nephews, Cousins. All are family... and over the past couple weeks I have seen them. Hugged them. Cherished them.
We spent time at my folks' house, over the river and through the woods. (It is not a road trip of epic miles ... but with a family of six it can be a few hours, a bit of "Are we there yet?", and quite a few "MOM, I have to go to the bathroom!"s. While we were at Mom and Dad's the grandchildren put on their own nativity scene, we ate /too/ much (always happens with my mom's cooking), and we laughed a whole lot!
We spent time with Hub's family and when I say family I mean FAMILY. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, 2nd Cousins, Great-Aunts & Uncles, all crammed into Grandma's modest-home. But it was wonderful and jam packed with tradition! Santa stopped by and generations of children were amazed, once again, that he would take time from his busy Christmas Eve to bring each of them a gift. We laughed, caught up, and then hurried home to bed so that Santa could do his thing.
But there was another very important family we spent time with. My church family. My brothers and sisters in Christ. The small-group I looked at last month and said would you be in special prayer for Baby Boy *L*, like a family of godparents. The folks that helped me through deployment, the adults who want to spend time with my children, the group that I look forward to getting together with every week.
*L* was baptized on Sunday, the 26th. What a CRAZY time of year to be preparing for a party. Yet, as I stood in front of the church Sunday morning with hubs, proclaiming that 'Yes, we will raise our child to love and know Christ.' I looked out at the congregation and saw my family, hub's family and off to the left was my small-group family. I had such a sense of overwhelming love and belonging. It was a /wonderful/ culmination of the Christmas Season. And put a whole new meaning to the Reason for the Season.
We all have our own definition of family. It could include your neighbors, your own church family, very special friends in your unit or battalion. People you turn to when you need support. I hope you got to spend some time with them this holiday season!
- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com