So desperate to leave a legacy, few have the patience for the mundane moments that create legacy. These mundane moments are bound together to create a lifetime worthy of inheriting – for the mundane is nothing but magic cleverly disguised as ordinary. It is here, in the ordinary, few people take note and enjoy the possibilities. When is the last time a potato looked like tartiflette or an egg as a frittata? Yet a simple potato and egg have the innate possibilities to become ingredients of a true delicacy – but not on their own! This is why I love Christmas! Emmanuel!

Made for TV Christmas movie classics know this “mundane-to-magic” formula all too well. Tiles like Dashing Through the Snow, Christmas Land, The Christmas Note, Magic Stocking, or the runaway smash hit, Baby for Christmas all understand the underlying possibilities of humanity. A single dad finds love, a broken-hearted crank becomes stranded in a quaint place only to find something much bigger inside his heart, a prince marries a commoner who then saves a struggling country trying to find its identity – all plots of the made for TV Christmas movie genre. Such bullshit! Yet the numbers do not lie! More than 90 million people will watch this genre with a profit of over 500 million dollars. That is a lot of “magic”!

However, the magic depicted in these films is cheap magic shop illusion – not ancient magic. Ancient Magic is extremely old, powerful, and mysterious – millions of mundane moments bound together tight in community to create true magic. This is why I love Christmas – beautiful mundane community! Christmas morning, like every other morning, is nothing special other than time spent with family celebrating a baby born in a barn to a poverty stricken refugee family. Christmas morning is enjoying small moments – participating in ancient magic one tradition at a time! Life is not a made for TV Christmas special where all is magical in one hour and thirty-six minutes; rather life takes a lifetime of mundane moments to be truly magical! And the Ljs have had one hell of a magically mundane year!

Lj, pink slipped English teacher turned biology teacher, once again is working with English as a Second Language (ESL) students. No longer working at Santa Fe South high school, Lj is now the ESL Director for the Santa Fe South school district. He has the responsibility of the ESL education of nearly 3500 students across seven school sites. Also, he continues to work for Stone mowing lawns!

Kari, bubbly barista, is still slinging coffee and changing lives one smile at a time! This past year was the beginning of her 11th year at Starbucks. When not slinging coffee, she is serving as homeroom mom for Amaiya’s 2nd grade class. She continues to sell LuLaRoe clothes, and has recently added teacher back to her hat collection. In the new year, she will begin teaching for VIPKids – an online ESL platform for students in China.

Stone, grass cutter and gamer aficionado, continues to wade through the waters of junior high school. In 7th grade, Stone has continued to flourish academically. In the 7th grade band, Stone continues to grow musically. And don’t even get me started on his physical growth! Old Navy cannot keep his pants long enough to save our lives! Stone’s mowing business is growing strong and we hope to make this next year the best yet!

Amaiya, beautiful ballerina, loves to dance. The radio is always on as she spins and spins! She loves to dance and move her body! The 2nd grade has proved an adventure worthy of her time. Amaiya currently loves Disney pop music, crafts, friends, and being compassionate to others (when convenient). She has expressed the need to be baptized this year, and we are working through what this means.

Through all the highlights have been the mundane – clogged toilets, sick kids, going to church, skipping church, late dinners on a dinning room table fit for a hoarder, small kisses while cooking, saying cheers, a broken heater, broken cars, broken hearts, broken bodies, welcoming new family members, saying goodbye to friends, clipping toenails, making coffee, conversations while mowing, laughing, crying, looking off into the distance, sunsets, sunrises, being angry, being joyful, shopping, and dropping the occasional “F” bomb. Through it all, these moments bound us together in community in 2018. The Ljs wish you and your family a Merry Festive Christmas and a Happy New Year! What “F” bomb did you think I was talking about?

To print a high resolution photo for your fridge, click here!

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