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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

I now know what my parents must have felt like when we got up before 6am as we were eager to see if Santa had visited our house.  Our little guy got up about 5:50am, and despite putting him back to bed, we were all up and he was busy enjoying presents by 6:30am.

We all know what happens with a tired little guy though, and here is a prime example:

This is what happens when a 2 year old gets up way too early.

Needless to say shortly thereafter he did take a two hour nap and woke up much happier!  I thought those of you longing to see our little guy on Christmas might like a few happier photos to view.  Merry Christmas from our Household.  It’s time for lunch!!

Three cousins, Christmas Eve 2010. He gets to see his other cousin in several weeks.

We're just waiting for him to say he doesn't have anything to play with...

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I love Christmas Cards (didn’t my title just say that)!  I love sending them, I love getting them.  I especially love the ones with pictures!  Before e-mail, text messaging, and the Internet, notes inside were the best part.  I love even reading everyone’s crazy Christmas letters.

Even if it isn’t someone I’ve been in close touch with for a while, it is a way to just say “I’m thinking about you as the holidays arrive!”

I can remember growing up and having TONS of Christmas cards arriving around the house.  I loved getting the mail around the holidays and I still do.

Just one observation keeps coming up with me this year (and if you’ve sent one of these they are still beautiful):  We have yet to receive a religious oriented Christmas card.  And I am continually reminded – isn’t the Christ child what Christmas is all about.

Of all the Christmas cards that have arrived this 2010, all but the photo cards and one or two others, have Santa or a Santa reference on all of them (ie:  A Santa hatted dog-several of these, or snowman, or sled with a santa hat.)

I love Santa Claus and the mystique as much as the next gal, but it is becoming harder and harder to keep Christ in Christmas.

A speaker I heard this morning made the statement that Christ gave us the ultimate sacrifice by giving his life for us, and that by being a giving person, we are emulating Christlike behavior.

That is so special and a great way for us to show our love for our friends and families.  But let’s not remember that night so long ago that brought Christ into the world in the first place.

Let’s remember that young girl that made her way on a donkey, pregnant, and I’m sure exhausted, and the hope that God through her brought into the world

Let’s remember what Christmas is all about.  God’s love for us, a wonderful gift that lead to the ultimate sacrifice.

I love Christmas Cards as noted above, I'm just not always the best at sending them out. This is what they look like if yours hasn't arrived yet (maybe it's lost in the mail - yeah, that's it!)

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When we first got married and had our first home, our tree was immaculate.  It looked like it could have been in a magazine.  All pinks and golds and uniform ornaments.  It had the perfect matching tree skirt, and we had great metallic gold stockings to match.

Then our next homes held equally uniform and classy trees, with floral picks set throughout, ribbon cascading down and uniform gold and deep red christmas ornaments hung throughout with beaded ornament hooks.

Fast forward to our tree this year.  Brad and I both noted this year how we like the look of the tree with our more unique ornaments set into motion by our little boy.  We now have Santa on a motorcycle, footballs, teddy bears, a small nativity ornament, and much more.  We now put those Purdue ornaments on our main Christmas tree as well as all of those unique ornaments friends and staff have given us over the years.  Grandparents have already added to the family collection too.

It’s a little more like life for our family in general.  Much more a menagerie of things going on than when it was just the two of us.  And we like it this way (most days…).

We like our more unique tree (and life) and look forward to adding more uniqueness to it each year.  This year the boy’s Christmas ornament is Mickey and Pluto decorating a tree, in honor of his first trip to Walt Disney World this year.  Our next door neighbor said that is one of the first souvenirs they purchase on each trip anywhere – a special ornament, and I must say they always have a beautiful tree.  I like this idea and think it is one we’ll try to institute in our family too.

 

I think this face just shows the mischief our home has in store for it.

 

 

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"I'm just trying to figure out what I should get into next. Hope Santa isn't watching..."

The look the boy is giving in this picture is pure mischief, as has been his behavior the past couple of days.  WILD is the word.

Fortunately we’ve been able to get outside a ton the last couple of days.  Today we won’t be so lucky with a nice forecast of rain, and while it is only 10:19am, he has been into EVERYTHING.

He hasn’t gotten the concept down just yet, that Santa is watching.  When he went down for a nap a few minutes ago, I took a huge sigh of relief at just a few minutes to take a deep breath.

This has been a relatively stress free Christmas season if there is such a thing for us.  This morning we woke up to a beautiful sunrise of deep pinks and oranges that you don’t normally see in winter, let alone Christmas Eve.  We’ve only a few things left to wrap, and I’ve still got one present to finish.

This time last year, I was so frazzled, we didn’t even make it home for Christmas with my family.   That should have been the pure indicator that we needed to look to plan out our lives differently.  Thankfully God was watching, and new when the right time was to help us make the decision for me to stay home with the boy.

While we don’t have a white Christmas, the roads should be safe enough for us to get home to see everyone with the exception of some rain.

I can’t believe it is Christmas Eve, and to shift gears a little bit, as a mother, I can only imagine what was going through Mary’s head as she prepared to give birth to the Christ child.  No nesting for her, unless you count making a place in the hay to lay down.

The Bible doesn’t discuss Jesus’ childhood a ton, but I just have so much trouble imagining him climbing up on every rock and piece of furniture he saw, or getting into every ceramic pot (instead of cabinet), that he wasn’t supposed to be in.

I pray that your Christmas season is full of love and laughter, and that despite the rush, and the bustle that you can take a minute and read the Christmas story.  Take a minute to think about the characters and be empathetic as you imagine what may have been going through their minds.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

P.S.:  In case you’re wondering what to fix for Christmas morning breakfast, here’s what will be served at our house:

Breakfast Burritos

1 lb sausage

6 or more eggs

cheddar cheese

tortilla shells

Toppings as you like

Brown the sausage.  Beat the eggs and make into scrambled eggs.  Combine with the sausage.  Then, let everyone make their own breakfast burrito with the warmed tortilla shells, I like to top mine with sour cream and cheese.  My husband goes with cheese and no sour cream, but tons of hot sauce.

Talk about fast, and you don’t have to miss any of the family time, because you’re stuck in the kitchen.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Stores are hustling and bustling, even at 9am on a Monday morning.  Shelves are getting emptier at retailers around the area, and some are still trying to figure out what the perfect gift is for a loved one.

It’s the week when we pull out the Christmas traditions that one holds dear, and when we celebrate the birth of our dear savior Jesus Christ.

For me, Christmas week means the movie “White Christmas.”  I’ve already watched it 3 times, but will watch it again, and maybe even more than that.

There’s just something about that movie!  I think it’s the costumes, the dancing and the wish for a white Christmas.  Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen, Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby – AMAZING!

When I was little a white Christmas was so exciting.  Now, I just worry, will we make it to visit family, will my husband be able to spend the day with us.

It looks like this year we’ll get rain, which is good for the practical side of my mind, but a white Christmas just is transforming to the holiday.  It makes it feel like CHRISTMAS!

Whether your week of Christmas is white or full of green grass, don’t forget to take time out for your favorite holiday traditions, and make some time for yourself, even if it’s to take a couple of hours to watch an old favorite holiday movie.

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Christmas 1977

Yesterday, I asked a neighbor if her kids were ready for Christmas, and she shared a good point.  When we were growing up she said, Christmas didn’t begin before Thanksgiving.  The hype came just weeks before Christmas and the anticipation was wonderful.  Now, Christmas begins so early, that as parents, it is difficult to keep their excitement for a holiday that seems so far away.

Take a few minutes to remember Christmas as you were growing up.  Do you remember a favorite Christmas gift?  Do you remember a favorite Christmas decoration?  Did your family have a Christmas tradition?  What are some of your new Christmas traditions?

I asked my husband last night what his favorite Christmas gift was growing up.  He’s still thinking on it but I’ll try to share it as he decides.

Growing up, myself and my two brothers, would each put our stockings on a different chair or the couch.  This is where Santa would put our presents.

I usually would try to pick a chair instead of the couch, this way it would look like I had even more than my brothers:)

One year though, I put mine on the couch.  I can still remember where the couch was sitting in our living room in Illinois.  On the couch were a pair of pink and purple Cabbage Patch Kid moon snow boots amidst my other gifts.  These have got to be my most memorable Christmas gift!

When you walked in the snow, they even left little cabbage heads in the footprints.  I can also remember a chocolate advent calendar I think my mom bought through some school fundraiser, and how exciting it was to open each day.

In Champaign, Illinois, there was one particular street that was amazing with Christmas lights – I think it was called Candy Cane lane.  Now we try to make it to Hardinsburg, KY and their park filled with Christmas lights.

We always went to the Christmas Eve service at our Church, and one year it went especially late.  I had always been told that Santa wouldn’t come unless you were in your bed asleep, so I was in hysterics when one of the elders at church told me they heard Santa’s sleigh bells very close by.  I just knew he wasn’t going to stop at our house since I wasn’t in bed.

Keep these memories in your heart and bring that childlike wonderment to your holiday, and to that of your friends and family.  Slow down just enough to remember and share those memories with your friends and family!

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The Boy & Santa 2009

Our neighborhood association is so wonderful to invite Santa to visit the clubhouse just up the street, and provides a great opportunity for the kids to see Santa in a casual environment without having to wait in line at the mall or a store. I think we were there all of 15 minutes.

We weren’t sure how the boy would do, but he did great!  At first he was a bit trepidatious but he warmed up quick as you can see from the picture!

I guess it's okay to sit on this strange guy's lap. Mom and dad seem to want me to smile and act like I'm having fun.

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We're ready to get baking! This is the before picture - see the kitchen is still kind of clean.

I sure do like those Christmas Cookies Babe….

Okay, It’s some crazy country western song about Christmas Cookies.  I couldn’t resist.

The holidays are here!  Can you feel it?

My mom came down this week for our annual Christmas Cookie baking extravaganza.  I have to give my husband much thanks for keeping the boy occupied while we were in the kitchen.

The boy loves cookies and so do we.  This is always such a fun time and a nice chance to spend time with my mom.  I will say, my cookie decorations get a little crazy the longer we are decorating them.  I usually end up eating some of those myself as I get kind of hand with polka dots, stripes, etc. by the time we’re almost done.

The boy is saying - "Mimi give me that cookie!"

This year I bought some cans of decorator icing with tips that you just pop on.  This was so much fun.  It’s like squeeze cheese only frosting, and a blast.  If you don’t have much time to decorate cookies this is certainly the way.

My mom decided she’d make some cookies that looked like baby Jesus in the swaddling clothes.  I didn’t get a picture of those, and I ended up keeping them myself instead of giving them away, as we couldn’t figure out who would actually want to eat baby Jesus.  Kind of an odd thought.

The finished product!

Anyway, I had to share some pictures and the tip on the decorator frosting.  Not to mention the McCormick’s neon food coloring makes a lime green that is so much fun to use on decorating mitten cookies!

Also, In addition to the sugar cookies I made some easy chocolate cream cheese truffles.  Here’s the recipe:

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese softened.

4 oz Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate, melted

3 1/ 2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

Crushed Pecans or Nestle Quick to roll them in.

Beat the cream cheese with the mixer, and add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth.  Then add melted chocolate and beat until completely mixed.  Refrigerate mixture for about 30 minutes or more, until consistency is fairly firm.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop the mixture out, roll into a ball, and then roll into nuts or Nestle Quick.

Enjoy.  These are awesome.

"Uh Oh... Mom just caught me swiping this cookie from the counter. I like me some cookies!"

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"Wow - Christmas Ornaments! I wonder how many of these I can manage to break"

Okay, so not quite yet, but we’re getting there with our decorations this year.  So far the tree is up, the stocking holders are up (no stockings up just yet), and we got the outside topiaries, and lights around the railing up.

"Mommy is even letting me put an ornament on!"

We’re getting there.  This year our tree looks a bit different as there are no breakable ornaments past the halfway point.  This way if the boy wants to look at an ornament he can, and we don’t have to stress about him breaking something.  We took bets at our house all the same as to how many we thought he’d still break.  Brad took 5, I took 3.  Hopefully it will stay at 0 and neither one of us will be right.

I figure if we get a few decorations up each day by Christmas we should be there!  Gone are the days when I actually put up 3-4 trees throughout the house, but it is more festive than ever, and the boy loves the one tree in the living room, especially the kitty ornament at the bottom and the Purdue Pete ornament.

It was a pretty nice evening to put up decorations, we had Christmas music playing, and a warm home full of love and laughter.

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I like Christmas music tons. In fact from Thanksgiving on you won’t find me listening to much else.

But when we were driving back from Northern Indiana this weekend I officially put a ban on Christmas Music until Thanksgiving.

We were driving through Indianapolis when what did we hear on the Christian radio station – Christmas Shoes. Then we changed the channel to hear two more Christmas songs.

Then we got home, and my husband decided to play the piano. From the kitchen, I could hear Good King Wenceslas and O’ Come All Ye Faithful. Crazy.

So at our house we have a ban on Christmas music until Thanksgiving.

Yes, Christmas should live in our hearts all year long. That said, I believe God calls us to enjoy all seasons – including fall, and taking time for Thanksgiving and all that we have been blessed with.

Then we can jump full fledge into the commercialized Christmas season.

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