We hosted about 30 people at our home for our Christmas Eve service for Desert Foursquare Church. At 5:15 p.m., we carolled around our neighborhood, giving songs, cards and warm smiles to our little community in La Quinta. One woman remarked, “I’ve never had such a wonderful Christmas surprise.” We sang to people of every age. It helped that the Helms family had their five boys with them, as they always bring incredible fun & energy to everything they do. People in the Lagos neighborhood were truly blessed. None more than me.
After a short devotional and a very traditional Costco pizza Christmas Eve dinner, my family loaded our little Prius for a trip to Puyallup. Google maps will tell you that this is a 20 hour trip. My clock told me that we shaved about three hours off the Google estimate. It helped us significantly that my very determined wife drove for six hours through the night at top speed. I now know that it is possible to get a sub-30 mpg average in our hybrid.
We have a few Christmas Day traditions at the Duris Farm (our family farm in Puyallup). One, we arrive at my wife’s parents home late-morning for custom omelets. There’s always a mess of cousins, siblings, calories and smiles. Two, as though we haven’t sufficiently been stuffed to the gills, we have a late-lunch gathering of extended family. Prime rib and deserts galore.
Undetected and unexpected, our Prius pulled into the Andrew’s driveway around 12:50 p.m. We tapped into their wifi; I skyped them in their home, and we told them that we left early (they anticipated us coming into town on Tuesday). My mother-in-law’s emotions went from joy (she likes it when we Skype) to excitement (when she realized we were driving out earlier) to absolute, over-the top “I just won the lottery” pandemonium when they all realized that we were in the driveway. I haven’t seen so many people crying at once since the Seahawks lost the Superbowl. Happy tears, followed by my father-in-law’s greeting, “Let me fix you an omelet.”
I feel very blessed to have so many people who love us. It feels even better to love, and to give the gift of love in unexpected ways. From our church family to our blood, I recognize that I am uniquely blessed. Thank you Jesus for our many Christmas blessings.