Last year was such a sad year at Christmas time. Jeremy was gone. The house was for sale (still). Then finally, the tension broke. The house sold the last week in November. I saw Jeremy down in Georgia a month before graduation and my heart knew it was almost over. Christmas was a bit rough in ‘06 for both of us, but we knew future ones would be better.

So this year, we had a renewed sense of excitement and hope even, about being together. Sure, we’d be in St. Louis visiting family in December, but we knew we’d have a good block of time together this month. If we wanted to decorate our house for Christmas, (and since Christmas is a favorite for both Jeremy and I) we could! And we DID! I know it is really early. But I’m leaving December 1, Jeremy is leaving December 3 and the next couple of weeks are going to be very busy. This was the best weekend for us to relax, kick back and really take our time to enjoy the day.

We had a big breakfast, put on Christmas music and our comfy clothes and put away all the fall stuff. Then we broke out the green and red totes. Cooper was so excited when Jeremy told him we were going to put up the “ho ho tree” (that’s what Cooper calls it). He couldn’t wait for the box to be opened and to help Jeremy put the tree together. It was really cute! And for the first time, we put our new Nativity scene (Willow!) out. It was so special to talk about it with Cooper and to hear him ask “what’s that?” and “what’s that do?” a million times. I think he’s a little confused because he’s seeing little baby Jesus in the Nativity but we talk about the grown up Jesus when we read our Bible…but there’s room for more explanation and clarification I figure!

On a side note, my co-worker girls at Efree got me 1/2 the Nativity set as a parting gift last year and Jeremy got me the other 1/2 after Christmas in 2005. It was very special to think of Gretchen, Lou, Jo, Laura, Linda, Karen, Jeanne, Kate, Alisha, Anna, Rose, Pat G., Tina, Pat B. and all my girls at church. I love you and I miss you so!

Jeremy will have one week at home while Cooper and I are in St. Louis before his block leave starts, so it’ll be nice for him to enjoy the house in all it’s Christmas glory and then join us in St. Louis later in the month. And even though Christmas began a little early this year for us, it feels right. It feels spacious. Like a light that’s a long way off growing very slowly brighter as you approach. It’s good and I hope that the guys who come over for Thanksgiving can enjoy the decorations too and be drawn in to the hope of Christmas and of Jesus.

Check out the pics on flickr of the Nevil Christmas!

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