Category Archives: Holidays

Merry Christmas

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John “testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ “

For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

John 1:14-16

Dread


I have found myself dreading certain aspects of Christmas the past couple of years. I’m not a grinch about all of Christmas. Just the decorating and the stress of trying to manage all the get togethers.

The decorating became overwhelming for me. It seems like every year I received some sort of decoration as a gift. Usually in a dirty santa game. Please don’t misunderstand me. It’s not that I didn’t like the decorations I received or did not appreciate the thought behind any of the gifts. I did. But the sheer number of Christmas decorations and ornaments that we’ve received over the years has overwhelmed me. I mean do I really need 8 large boxes of decorations? My house is not very big. The only way possible to use every decoration or ornament we’ve ever received would be to decorate every solitary surface and put up 3 trees!

Someone told me I should enjoy the memories we make of us decorating the tree. The only memory I would be making would be of me decorating the tree. My dear husband always put the live tree we would buy in the stand and get it set up, but then everything else was left to me. Sure our son would help hang the ornaments, but after hanging a handful he was ready to move on to something else. Leaving just me hanging ornaments and putting out decorations for hours. It’s just not something I enjoy.

It also felt like we had some sort of Christmas party to go to every week. Sometimes more than one. Trying to manage those as well as coordinate family gatherings stressed me out. Granted I know this is not caused by anyone or anything other than my own quirkiness.

I love buying gifts for everyone. I love coming up with something I can make our two nieces each year. I love seeing our son open his gifts and stack them in his neat little pile (he’s like his daddy) after he opens them. I enjoy spending time with our families and celebrating our nieces birthday on December 23rd when we have Christmas with my husband’s family. I have a photo of our niece sitting with her birthday cake each year for the past six or seven years. It’s one of my favorite memories each year.

And of course I want to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and the significance it holds in my faith.

But the decorating and running from this to that adds nothing to Christmas for me.

So last year I decided to simplify. I had a small three foot artificial tree in college that we still have. We sat it up on a small table in front of the window and put lights on it and a star on the top. We hung the stockings on the mantle and pulled all of Squirt’s nutcrackers out and put them on the hearth like we always do. We love his nutcrackers and there is a special story as to why he collects them now. They make me smile each time I pass or look at our hearth during the holidays.

That was all the decorating we did. We scaled back on parties also. Other than our family gatherings, I went to one party and we went to one as a family. We also went to our Christmas Eve service at church.

I wasn’t overwhelmed with too much extra stuff sitting out around our home and we weren’t exhausted from being on the go the entire month.

And you know what? It was perfect. I enjoyed Christmas.

Do you find yourself becoming distressed during the holidays due to the overwhelming amount of stuff or activities?

And just for a laugh I saw this on Facebook a few days ago and it pretty much sums up how I feel about all this Christmas before Thanksgiving.

Life: Unmasked

Our Snowy Christmas

Warning: Photo Overload

Squirt was up way too early Christmas morning. We told him to go back to bed though. We finally got up around 7 I believe. Gift unwrapping went quickly as always. Here he is with his stack of gifts.

The hubby is such a gift wrapping pro is he not? 🙂

The weather forecasters were prediciting snow for northeastern counties in Alabama. Of course right where we were headed. But before we get to all the snow photos a bit more unwrapping of gifts. And of course my mother’s sausage balls. I should have brought some home with me. Probably best I didn’t though.

Before the day was over we hiked up to the top of the mountain (don’t get excited it’s just a little mountain) in the snow to try and get some photos. Of course I had to get photos of Squirt in a snowball fight.

 

My sister didn’t come prepared for snow so she had to borrow one of our dad’s coveralls and boots. She was quite proud of her outfit.

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The day after Christmas hubby and I headed back home. The drive home was fine and the county road crews were on top of things and had the roads sanded in the worriesome parts. The snow covered landscape was beautiful to see, but by the time we made it about 40 minutes from home there was barely a dusting and none here at home, but I managed to get a few of the snow on the drive home.

Merry Christmas

From our home to yours may you have a merry Christmas and blessed new year.

Christmas card design by My Lil’ Creations.

Simplicity

(Self portrait 2009)

It is December 4 as I sit looking around our home. No sign of Christmas is to be found yet. No decorations grace the mantle. No tree with twinkling lights. I have yet to pull out the boxes of decorations filled with Santas and ornaments and other holiday items.

Why I’m not rushing to bring in the Christmas season I don’t quite know. Well maybe I do. Maybe it’s the busy-ness that the season seems to bring with it that I’d rather not rush.

I guess you can say my hope for this Christmas is simplicity.

Maybe it’s cliché. I hear many friends saying they want to simplify and no doubt simplicity is a buzz word among the online world.

I have said for many years I wanted things to slow down during the Christmas season. The stress of the parties and gift buying and everything that goes along with the holidays steal my focus. This year the need to simplify the craziness of the season has felt necessary though.

So my hope for this Christmas is simplicity. To find joy in the simple. The spark in my son’s eyes at the Christmas lights around town. The music that reaches my soul with the season’s meanings. To remember the simplicity of how God chose to reveal his grace to us: with a babe in a manger.

What is your hope for Christmas?