Boxing Day Reflections.

{Disclaimer:  This entry really isn't about Boxing Day.}
In reality, I don't exactly know what Boxing Day is, but I'm choosing to reflect upon Christmas on this day because Boxing Day is special enough to have a spot on an annual calendar.

As this holiday season comes to a close, I can't help but ponder the growing beauty of Christmas that strengthens as my childhood years have given way to young adulthood years.

Dentist Barbie.  Don't you want to hop into the chair?
My mind travels back to one particular Christmas morning when I was about four years old. My family was getting ready to open the gifts that were neatly and colorfully wrapped underneath our tree. I opened a "Dentist Barbie," which I adored, and I unpackaged the doll and her dentist chair out of their cardboard casing as soon as I could. How I loved that gift and its contents (somehow playing with that doll made going to the dentist less scary to me!).

Throughout the years, I asked my parents for gifts such as an Easy Bake Oven, a Furbie (quickly regretted by my entire family), "Finding Nemo", more Barbies, an American Girl doll, and many other girlhood dreams that I thought would satisfy my requirement for a "successful" Christmas season.

As a child, I clung to the tangibility of what I could receive at Christmastime in order to quantify my happiness.

As a young adult, I find that I increasingly cling to that which is intangible, or perhaps better explained as that which I believe can only be captured by the heart and not in neatly-wrapped (and with my wrapping skills, not-so-neatly wrapped) packages.

This Christmas was not-so-different in regards to family traditions, 
but something was different in my heart.

~ ~ ~

This year, I soaked in the smiles of my dad, mom, and brother as we were all gathered around our artificial – but still breathtaking (and balsam-smelling thanks to nifty scent sticks) – Christmas tree. I admired my family's laughs, their sparkling eyes, and the togetherness of the moment.

This year, I was touched by a small moment of silence as my dad and mom gave thanks to the Lord for the Christmases we got to spend with my older sister Katie before she went to Heaven.

This year, I was blessed to listen to extended family share their hearts, passions, and future plans with me. I immersed myself in the family gatherings on both my mom's and dad's side, realizing anew how fully blessed I am to share my heritage with these amazing men and women.

This year, I took a prolonged moment to gaze at our family nativity scene. I gazed at each member in the stable and pondered the beauty of the Incarnation. I was blown away once again by the truth that God sent His Son to live among us – despite the world's brokenness – so that we could be redeemed by His being among us, dying for our sins, and rising from the dead. I even showed my rabbit "Buttons" the nativity scene, and he kept staring at the sheep and donkeys (perhaps he wishes he could've been at the birth of Christ!).

This year, I appreciated the joy of simply being.

~ ~ ~

I feel contented, recognizing my satisfaction with throwing away every requirement of a "successful" Christmas season. The true, qualitative success has been to be with those I love, soaking in the beauty of conversations, smiles, and the Prosapio family recipe of lasagna (yay for leftovers!).

Merry Christmas (and Happy Boxing Day) from my family to yours.

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