Over the Christmas season I enjoy taking time with the kids, using the time with no school to bond with them, making decorations, cards, etc. In past years, we would spend our evenings baking, watching classic Christmas movies, or reading Christmas stories with a nice cup of hot chocolate. I think Christmas is so much about the kids (and this is completely separate from our work, not to be taken otherwise), helping them to understand that it’s all about Love, about giving to others, etc.
This Christmas because of my poor health, I didn’t get what I considered enough ‘bonding’ time with the kids. I felt guilty that I had to save my strength for things other than art projects, baking, or decorating. We did read a lot of Christmas stories, which was nice, and we had a few evenings where we played games, etc. I practiced with them pretty much every day, and I was very happy that they were able to perform more this year. However, I couldn’t help but feel that I was missing the spirit of Christmas with them, as I didn’t have the strength to get into much more with them.
Two weeks before Christmas, I made the resolution not to be negative about it, but praise the Lord regardless of what I could or couldn’t do. I had 2 weeks off from Hindi class, so that was 2 extra evenings a week with the kids. I made the effort every day to smile, not think about all I wasn’t doing, and let the spirit of Christmas come through regardless. On Christmas morning, the Lord told me to use extreme praise to rise above what I felt wasn’t the best Christmas I could give the kids. We had lots of fun, bonding together, performing for visitors, having visitors, etc. I used the last days of the year to prepare for the start of school in January and thanked the Lord for a good Christmas season.
Then on the first of the New Year, the kids came down sick, one after the other. It was tough for the first two days as they were in bed and pretty miserable. Then as they got better, I found myself having the whole day just with the kids, bonding, playing games, doing art projects, etc. We couldn’t do school; they were still pretty weak and concentrating was not on the agenda. I realized that as difficult as it is when kids are sick, it was a blessing in disguise as I got a lot of rest, meaning I had the strength to be there for them. Once again, using praise brought a much better result than I could have ever hoped for.