Our highly anticipated Christmas vacation has ended as quickly as it began. Last night we came home to a perfectly green tree that we left neglected for two whole weeks. It's as if our little evergreen new we needed a little more Carolina Christmas.
The two weeks away were mainly characterized by family and eating only carbs and sugar. It could have been an experiment for what it's like living in a family compound, sharing all kinds of responsibilities under one roof. We took dogs out and fed cows and passed the baby around so someone else could stir what was on the stove at the time. We took turns playing with our favorite five year old and wrapped gifts and decorated trees. We watched movies and played late night charades. We baked enough sweets and dips and casseroles that our Southern heritage never be questioned. There was even some fence-building. And there was target practice with both pistols and shot guns, of course.
After spending a week in Franklinton and a week in Ruston, there are plenty of characteristics that stand in stark contrast of one another, and there are plenty of that don't. Though there was certainly no fence-building or cow-feeding as my mom's house, both weeks allowed for those conversations that don't normally happen over the phone or through a text. They brought plenty of time to be lazy bums and opportunities to live daily life together. There was time to sneak off and hug all those long distance forever friends. We spent the vast majority of that time laughing and, in the quiet moments, we remembered we had much to be thankful for - for health and safe travel and the deep love of our families. For those family members whose lives are quieting though their influence never will. And for those who fill that noiseless void with he sound of bouncy balls and baby squeals.
We are happily unpacking in Columbia, looking forward to what this new year in what still feels like a new home will bring. I hope you had the happiest of Christmases, that you cherished time with family, and that you tried, for another year, to grasps the miracle of Christ's sacrificial birth.
And if you want to keep celebrating, head over to King Street. I'm determined to keep our tree up until every branch is brown!