Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Run

It's one of the traditions I cherish on Christmas: annual Christmas run with dear friends.

Within minutes of returning from my run, the boys are up and ready to greet the Christmas tree.

Christmas gifts didn't dissappoint!

It was our first Christmas without Grandma sitting at the table.  So, we stopped by her new facility to wish her a Merry Christmas.

Cooper giving Grandma a hug goodbye.  Warmed my heart to see this image.

The big family celebrated on December 27th.  Dad posed with his sisters and their spouses.

I snuggled just a bit with my nephew Parker.

My siblings, cousins, and spouses.

Blood relatives only:)


New generation of cousins/siblings.

On Christmas morning, my alarm blares at an unreasonable hour of the morning.  When I awake, the room is pitch black.  I stumble around in the dark, and pull on appropriate running and cold weather gear (that may or may not match).  Then, I slip into the darkness.

I end up on the trail where I typically meet at least one dear running friend.  We greet each other with a hug and whisper "Merry Christmas."  As the words escape my lips, I realize she's the first recipient of the greeting.

There's something quite amazing about experiencing Christmas in the wee hours of the morning while wearing running shoes.  The world is peaceful, and few have arisen to greet the holiday.  I feel like I've been given this special gift of a few more hours of Christmas.  And in those hours, I've been allowed to savor the holiday under a blanket of quiet and darkness that leads one to grasp the reverence of the day.  

The Christmas I experience in those moments is unencumbered by holiday stress, baking fails, mounting credit card statements, family drama, and elevated weight gain.  It is Christmas, in it's most raw and awe-inspiring state.  I thank God for the many gifts He so graciously gives me, including the gift of a Christmas run.

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