Another Christmas come and gone. A new year is here! There seemed to be a stretch of time when Christmases were familiar, holiday traditions were performed year after year in the same place, and no kids were running around at my feet making the holiday season absolutely wiz by. In my opinion, nothing marks a Christmas and the passage of another holiday season like the growth of children. Right now, in my life, every Christmas is different than the last. My children are different ages at each Christmas, which at this point in their growth, makes a huge difference. Our family has been growing every Christmas since 2020 with the birth of new children or new pregnancies underway. Each Christmas has been enormously different, increasingly busy, and immeasurably blessed, gratifying, and joyful.
Next Christmas, we will have three children after the birth of our third child this spring. My goodness, God is good. All this to say, we have so much to be thankful for at the end of Christmas 2023 and at the start of 2024. I very much include each one of you, my readers, on my list of things to be grateful for. So, Merry Christmas 2023 from our family to yours. I hope you had the most magical Christmas season yet! Below, I’ve jotted down a quick recap of our 2023 Christmas for my memories and included a splendid poem I discovered this holiday season that I’ve been reflecting on ever since. It’s really beautiful if you’re interested to keep scrolling this post for a quick but lovely read.
Merry Christmas 2023 From Our Family To Yours
“Let There Be Kindness at Christmas”
I came across a poem, “Let There Be Kindness at Christmas,” this Christmas from a poet unfamiliar to me, Jenny Maryl, that reads:
Let there be kindness at Christmas, for one and all,
Let others know the dove of peace has come to call.
Let others see that with you, Christmas can be kind,
Leave spoonsful of joyfulness for others to find.
Distribute your smiles, let them float to those around,
So when the smiles reaches them, happiness is found.
Let there be understanding at Christmas this year,
Let others know that your forgiveness is now here.
Let others see that with you, hate does not belong,
That with you, they will once more find hope and feel strong.
Open up your heart, and let them know that you care,
And that when tomorrow comes, you will still be there.
When I stumbled upon this poem, I read it over and over again. So many sentiments jumped out at me and made me reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. And on what I want to project into the world in 2024. In my Ice Breakers post from last summer (I need to do another one of these posts now for the new year. I find them to be so fun!), one of the questions I included was “what do you want to be remembered for?” Part of my answer was that I’d like to be remembered for the way I made people feel.
This poem made me reflect on that with lines like “Distribute spoonful of joyfulness for others to find.” and “Distribute your smiles, let them float to those around, So when the smiles reaches them, happiness is found.” and “Open up your heart, and let them know that you care, And that when tomorrow comes, you will still be there.” I just love the visual imagery of and emotional implications of “Distribute spoonful of joyfulness for others to find.” I’d like that to be my mantra going into 2024. Joy radiates and people know a joyful person when they see one.
I so love this poem too because I think you can read it both as a religious poem and as a non-religious poem. If you read it to be that the yous and yours represent God, then it has a very beautiful and impactful religious message. However, kindness is universal. So, I think, this poem can just as easily be read without that implication and be very meaningful about the spirit of the holidays and of spreading joy, kindness, and forgiveness around. It is a Christmas poem for everyone.
Merry Christmas 2023 from our family to yours!
Our Christmas season kicked off on Thanksgiving night with a tradition I’ve started with my boys of gifting them a new set of Christmas pajamas for the season ahead. And watching The Grinch as a family. The magic started right out of the gates and the whole month absolutely flew by from that moment on. This Christmas, we stayed home in Charleston for the holiday as we have done since 2020. And took in all that our marvelous city has to offer at the holidays.
We visited the train set at The Charleston Place
We took lots of walks around the neighborhood to see all the decorations, wreaths, garlands, and nutcrackers
We saw all the Christmas lights with Light the Lake at Colonial Lake, The James Island Festival of Lights, and the Aquarium Aglow Lights
We celebrated the merriment of the season with lots of festive gatherings at The Dewberry around their stunning Schumacher tree
We got dressed up and saw Santa three times and baked him yummy cookies
We cherished our children’s Christmas pageants and joyful singing of Christmas songs
We hosted our annual Christmas cookie exchange and enjoyed another night of more cookies than you’ve ever seen + the best friends around
We saw the Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer play at The Gaillard with my parents and Rowan was enchanted by it
We went Christmas shopping along King Street and at the Charleston German Christmas market
We went on a little overnight roadtrip to Greenville, SC with my mom and the boys loved hotel life + we loved We Took Took To The Woods
We celebrated my sister’s birthday at Vern’s and The Dewberry and cheered to another trip around the sun
We went to Christmas Eve church and the boys dressed up as little lambs for the nativity scene
We hosted Christmas Eve dinner and served holiday punch and beef bourguignon
We spent Christmas morning at home opening stockings and gifts while eating cinnamon rolls
We spent Christmas dinner at my parents’ house and reflected on the busiest, happiest Christmas season thanks to all of the above + many, many magical holiday moments and outings in-between
A few P.S.’s…
Now is the time to fill in your Christmas memories book before the holiday becomes a blur. You’ll never forgetting marking and remembering the holiday by doing this!