Holiday Review: Hometown Christmas

It's been a week since we returned to Cayman after a two-week Christmas holiday in Pennsylvania. I haven't had such a relaxing vacation in years. 

Our time was spent.... for the tree.

...decking the halls.

...wrapping gifts.
(although I can't take credit for any of these pretty packages)
 ...playing with toys.

...sitting by the fireplace.
electronic version

log fire version
 ...sipping hot cocoa.
(okay, we didn't actually sip hot cocoa, but now I regret that decision.)
...and spending a ton of time with family.
family photos by the amazing Geri Schnure of Bellavie Photography

Christmas is by far my favorite holiday. Hearing just three bars of Nat King Cole's The Christmas Song sends me into a spiral of childhood memories, most of which involve puffy snowsuits, homemade ornaments, and sleep-prohibitive excitement on Christmas Eve. I get that cozy feeling on the inside when I remember decorating for Christmas with Mom, cutting out snowflakes with my sister, helping my brother build his new Lego sets after we opened presents, and waking my baby sister up early to open gifts, just because watching a two-year-old open presents is wildly entertaining.

And don't even get me started on A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Custom-made comic strip from Mom

Now that we've moved away from our hometown without any concrete plans as to if and when we'll return, Christmas can be a little hard, knowing that the family memories we make this Christmas might have to last me two or more years until we can get everyone back in the same place again on December 25th. I guess that's why toward the end of our visit, my mood took a slight turn for the worse. I just can't think about months and months going by without seeing my favorite people!

                     photo credit: ADP
Grandma: Forever one of my favorites
But. Today's sermon at church was about God's calling on our lives, and how 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 addresses staying in the calling that God has for you right now, rather than constantly looking for new places and new things. That's not to say God doesn't have different things in store for us down the road. But for now, we need to remain in the situation in which we have been called. And for right now, that situation is in Grand Cayman. [By the way, if you're interested in listening to Pastor Ryan's sermons, check this link for the current sermon series.]

Maybe that's why it was ultra-appropriate that Grandma's annual ceramic project for me this year was a dolphin. (Not that a dolphin is ever inappropriate for me.) This is where we're at.

    photo credit: ADP

I don't know what the future holds. I don't know where we'll live. I don't know how close (or far) family will be. But God's plan is a good one. I'm glad He placed us in the Caribbean, and I'm going to soak up every second while I can. I love visiting "home", but this is home too.

And besides, I won't really have the chance to miss family. The subject matter of houseguests.14 (currently here) and houseguests.15 (arriving later this week) are all those who are near and dear. Bring on the family invasion!


  1. aw, i love this post. so well said, and beautifully written. i didn't get to hear the sermon, but i love the idea of living in the calling you have now, and trusting God for future plans. it's not an easy path, but if we could really grasp how good God is and how much He loves us, we wouldn't have any worries.

  2. great post Jenn! Really encouraging too! I love you so much and adore the last photo of you, you look stunning!

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  4. What a sweet post! Really enjoyed this one :) Very heartfelt and endearing, if that's the word I want to use.

  5. Love this, I have to remind myself of this all the time! That dolphin is great too!

  6. I'm so glad that we get to share our adopted Caribbean home with you!!!