We had a very nice Christmas this year... I hope you did too!
We had a nice Eve of Christmas Eve with extended family. The girls were spoiled rotten with gifts from Nana on Christmas Eve. And then Christmas morning, our little family read of Jesus' birth and opened our own gifts to each other. I had found a play kitchen for the girls to share on clearance way back in the summer so it was fun to FINALLY give that to them (Not as fun to assemble, however!) We had a nice Christmas morning service. The choir sang two songs, without much practice. he he he Always interesting... We stumbled only a little and it's completely allowed on Christmas. =)
We spent most of the day at my father in law's, enjoying a house full of family.
I was thinking back on what my favorite element of Christmas 2011 was, and though I had fun with relatives and received some nice little treasures for myself, I really think my husband was, and is, my very favorite part of Christmas. Not a particular gift (though he did give me several... and only one made to Christmas day! He can't help himself and gives me presents early all the time.)
He's just so very good to me. I could elaborate and make ya'll nauseated. But in a nutshell: he is thoughtful of me. Like all the time. He's hopelessly convinced that I'm attractive. Poor guy has terrible taste in women. He's nice. And considerate. And works hard. And has absolute integrity.
There is an age old problem with young couples having unrealistic expectations in marriage. You know what I mean... he thinks she'll look like a super model 2 seconds after delivering a baby. She thinks he'll jump to take out the trash the very instant it's full. Or whatever else people dream of and expect of their future/current spouses. Of course, the fact that she is a sinner and he is a sinner doesn't cross their mind. Somehow they dilute themselves into thinking a perfect marriage can result of two imperfect people. And so that is an issue dealt with (hopefully) at some point before or early on in marriages.
But you know what I've noticed among younger generations growing up and getting married? They don't have unrealistically high expectations: sometimes they have no or low expectations. In 2011, young people don't envision the marriages of Ozzie and Harriet. The envision the marriages of Raymond and Deborah on "Everybody Loves Raymond" or Kate and her husband with the 8 kids. I personally see more young couples forming views of marriage that says lying is fine and customary, sarcastic cutting remarks are normal, regularly scheduled fights are to be expected, fidelity is nice but a lot to ask, and each partner is entitled to their own approach to parenting, even if it conflicts with the others.
I've heard lots of wise people recommend losing our unrealistic expectations of a perfect marriage. but I also want to encourage young couples to have a dream for their marriage. Dont' let the unhappy couples you observe, whether in real life or on TV, lessen your hopes and dreams of what your marriage can be. Perfect? Of course not! But not mean and selfish. No lying. Ever. Fidelity is absolutely expected. I'm not Harriet (thankfully...really don't love that name!) and Seth is no Ozzie. But overall, our marriage is a source of joy and a huge blessing to us, not a source of strife and a curse. And it's my hope that it always be will.