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The term Country Christmas embodies all of the beauty and sentimental notions and longings I have about the Christmas season. 

I have visions of rustic barns amid snow-covered fields, 

handmade gifts, 


and decorations that bring the outdoors in. 

But like all idealized things, perpetuated by Pinterest and blogs, snapshots and songs, the season can never fully live up to the ideal. We have the barn, but nary a flake of snow, and I only managed to finish two knit dishcloths for one friend. We felt busy and tired, and at times, grumpy and dull. However, the season was still beautiful and warm, and best of all, real. 

Friends and family gathered, 

our fire blazed warm and bright (even if it is propane), 

we had quiet moments of reflection (at least one that I can remember),


moments of excitement and chaos (many, many more of those),

but most importantly, Jesus was celebrated. 

The greatest miracle of all time is that God so loves us and so desires to redeem us that He sent his Son, who is fully God, to put on a mantle of flesh and dwell with us, the Word made flesh, God With Us, Immanuel. 

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: 
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, 
and will call him Immanuel.
~Isaiah 7:14


The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, 
and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”).
~Matthew 1:23
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. 
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, 
who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
~John 1:14

Since Christmas Day is for celebrating miracles, it seems fitting that also on this day we celebrated six-months home with Graham Jeffrey. He woke up a little grumpy, but soon warmed up.

Caleb and I were profoundly struck by how many stockings hung from our mantel this year.  (That, and the fact that we are profoundly outnumbered.) What a sweet love this little boy is. Graham has blended right into our family as though that spot was just waiting for him. I believe it was. He is smart, sweet, funny, and mellow (a welcome trait in a fifth child, particularly a child that follows our Firecracker Rosie). He has grown and changed so much and is finding his two year-old will and voice, which I often must remind myself is good and healthy.  

Next week, new animals are being delivered to our farm and seed catalogs are already arriving in the mail. The hope and promise of a New Year await. 

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