i'm just now getting to it.
december 24, 2012 3:34 a.m. (so technically it's Christmas day)
i used to find it a little odd when friends would talk about how their whole family would be coming home for Christmas that year. that's what you do at Christmas. why wouldn't your whole family come home?
but then life went on. my sister got married but brady came home and the family was a little bigger, not smaller (which was nice, since i remember the three of us getting home the year before and it seeming a little... stale?) then there was a little nephew to join the year after. but growing families mean stretching a young family budget and becky and brady weren't able to come home one year.
last year tim and lyndsie came home, but becky and her family celebrated out in seattle. me and tim and lynds had a good time and made the most of it, but still wasn't the same. it's how life goes. and soon it was a year and a half since i had seen my sister and her family. i used to see them every week.
but tonight becky and brady and caleb and isaac and annie flew into salt lake. i hadn't seen caleb for about a third of his life, yet my time with him for the first two years of his life imprinted me well, because he was thrilled to see uncle jeff again. and his younger brother, as with everything else, did the same.
a few hours later my dad and i were back at the small fargo airport, hugging my brother and his wife. and every room in the house was again full.
once the little kids were in bed, the big kids were up for a several more hours, talking and laughing and wrapping presents. i revealed that mom and i had bought four nerf(-like) dart guns for us to unwrap and play with tomorrow morning and, in our own "gift the magi" way, becky said that she'd bought little dart guns for her boys. so that should be a good time.
now, everyone is asleep. i've wrapped my dad's present to my mom and helped my mom set out my her present to my dad. we've helped santa fill ten stocking hung by the fireplace and becky has promised that she'll hold the boys from waking me until 8:00 if she can.
this fall i took an institute class on the writings of isaiah. we spent a lot of time on chapters 52-53, probably the most well-known sections of the book. isaiah 52:7 begins with
how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace;my teacher told us that the hebrew word for "beautiful" in that verse is the word nauvoo. it means not only "beautiful" but "suitable." the root connotes "properly to be at home, to be pleasant or suitable," and carries the idea of being at home, being satisfied.
tonight, with my whole family together for Christmas, that is how i feel.