Christmas has come and gone once again, though as we plan a trip to Winnipeg this weekend to see Sarah’s family it feels as though we’re heading into an extended edition of the holidays. Sarah has had to return to work for a couple of days this week, but with Tyler, Nicole and Olivia still down it still feels like we’re on Christmas vacation.
This year was a bit of a return to tradition for the Cain side of the family. Christmas Eve at Auntie Laurel and Uncle Don’s and Christmas Day at Mom and Dad’s. Good times and good food! Nicole, Tyler and Olivia arrived soon after and we had a larger family gathering complete with Uncle Don songs, more gift-giving, more food and even dancing! Yep, that’s right.
Two and a half years since its completion, I was finally able to print off a finished copy of my undergrad thesis for Mom and Dad. I thought it’d make a good surprise gift at the end of the morning. Though the manuscript was officially ‘done’, I’d gone through it again last October and then again in January when I experienced I really frustrating set-back. I’d accidently created two different copies without realizing it, and had on some days been editing one version and on another day editing the second. Sometimes in March, I think it was, I bit the bullet and read through both copies again to try and decide which sections of which version was the final. Thankfully, I had noticed my mistake early enough and I ended up merging the two without much difficulty. Still, you can imagine the headache.
Afterwards I was able to finally pull in my title page and table of contents and save the whole thing as a .pdf. It’s such a good feeling to get it totally done and have a copy printed off. I wanted mom and Dad to have the first one (I have an older one that I printed when still at the college), as they played such a huge part in me even being able to go to school.
If you’ve been following my blog you’ve probably heard me mention my favourite authors from time to time. When it comes to the Christian life, Eugene Peterson is my favourite. He’s down-to-earth and grandfatherly, and his writing is rich, meaningful, and pastoral and imaginative. For Eugene, it’s all about how everything is liveable, nothing in our Christian faith is meant to be abstract, general, propositional or removed from day to day life. It’s all personal. All relational. All participatory. Last Christmas I received Practice Resurrection, which I’ve blogged about before. This year I was blessed with three more books of his five-piece series on spiritual theology. Each book is a “conversation” on a different topic related to living. So now I’m reading Eat this Book, a conversation about spiritual reading. I think I’ll be able to use it with my Sunday school lessons in January.
It was great to see Olivia again, and to visit with Tyler and Nicole—who we introduced to the thrilling epic farming board game, Agricola. As we purchased sheep, built clay huts and harvested our grain, Olivia would lean over to me, her Dad’s iPhone in hand with her favourite kids game, and show me how to colour Christmas trees and listen to Tinkerbell stories. She was pretty interested in all the little wooden pieces for the game, so we let her set up a farm of her own—though all she really wanted to do was collect more wood and assign everyone coloured bowls: “Blue for Dad and orange for Nikolas and green for Sarah and yellow for Mom!”
We’ve made New Year’s Eve plans with the three of them once we’re all back in Winnipeg—and hopefully we’ll be able to see Mike and Steph, too!
Until next time, happy reading, and hoping you’ve all had a very Merry Christmas!