The actual day of celebration of our Lord's birth has come and gone. My wish for you is that you keep the spirit of the season in your hearts for the duration of the coming year until we begin to formally celebrate again! Historically, December 25th was not likely the day of Jesus' birth, so live everyday as if it is and we are apt to get it right at least once a year.
I'm going to share some of my holiday's thumbs up and thumbs down moments, in no particular order.
We have been blessed most of our married life to be able to spend the holidays with our family. Since we left the Northwest, that's not been possible. However, our first Christmas in Utah and now our first Christmas in Kentucky have been shared with my brother and his wife. Having family here for the holidays is undoubtedly one of our biggest blessings. When David & Maryclare are here there is no shortage of laughter filling the air.
Harriett's health has not made an upturn, but we are thankful that she is well enough to spend the day with us and join in much of the festivities. Healthy or not, she is an important part of our family.
No holiday is complete without our delivering cookies to friends and neighbors. Our first attempt was on Tuesday evening during an ice storm. Mark, Krissy & I "skated" (read as "shuffled") across our driveway to the safety of the neighbor's grass. When we approached their porch only Mark was brave enough to attempt the climb. Think about the front steps that McCauly Caulkin iced up in 'Home Alone' and you have a good idea of what this porch looked like. Krissy and I wrapped our arms around the stair rails and stayed below. When Angie answered the door, Mark handed her the cookie plate and I "frisbeed" the Christmas card up to her. Since the rest of the cul-de-sac is uphill from there, we surrendered and skated back home. On Wednesday, the ice was gone and we made a safe delivery of the remaining cookie plates.
I am so proud of adhering to my gifting limits limits this year! Okay, 98% adherence, but the remaining 2% regards stocking stuffers and I only crossed over the line a little bit there. Yay, me!!
I must give a thumbs up for the awesome gifts from my famly. I KNEW I would receive the DVD of 'Mamma Mia' but I was surprised that it came from Mark. MUWAH!! to my hubby on that one!
Every year when my daughters ask me what I want for Christmas, my answer is "Peace on Earth." This year Alyssa found Peace on Earth for me and it's adorable!! I love Love LOVE it! The globe spins!
Krissy was a bit sneaky about one of her gifts to me and it was unintentionally a last minute addition. While visiting Mom in the hospital , I think last Sunday, we got caught up watching an infomercial. It was Tony Orlando promoting the Time/Life collection, 'Romancing the 70's,' a 9 CD set of 70's music. We sat and sang along with all the songs but gagged at the "only 5 easy payments of $29.95" price. So Krissy covertly googled the set, copied the play list, found all the songs and made me my own set of Romancing the 70's CDs. How awesome is that?
Between the three of them I am one incredibly lucky lady!
Christmas dinner: my husband is an amazing cook and does almost all of the holiday cooking – all holidays. Our dinner was once again delicious and we sat around like six old pumpkins afterwards…. big and round but sorta soft and mushy. And groaning… did I mention the groaning and moaning?
One of our thumbs down that we will just have to learn to live with is our first ever fake Christmas tree. Moving from the Northwest where evergreens are abundant to Northern Kentucky, land of deciduous trees makes the fake tree an economic necessity. We strove for a natural, realistic looking tree – no silver or pink tinsel tree and no artificial snow flock. But the lack of pine needles on the floor and fresh cut scent remind us it's not real. On the other hand, the pets don't drink the water and we don't have to get on hands and knees everyday to keep it hydrated.
We have missed some of our family "traditions." It's been a couple of years since we've done the daily advent and that is more likely due to children becoming adults and having jobs and such. I do hope we can recapture it next year, even if we can't squeeze it in every single day. Also, we messed up the order of events this year. Sounds silly, right? But I love doing stockings, having breakfast, then gathering back around the tree for the rest of the gifts. Didn't seem right to eat and do stockings and then move right on to the rest. Making a mental note to not allow that to happen again next year.
Having family here doesn't completely make up for those that aren't with us. I had hoped to bring Mom to the house for Christmas day but I didn't feel comfortable with her health and abilities since she'd just been released from the hospital on Christmas eve. We went to visit her and she was overwhelmed by our numbers. I think bringing her home with all the noise and people may have proven to be too much, too. We also miss being with Mark's family. They, too, are also spread from coast to coast.
The last thumbs down is no snow. I love a white Christmas and that was one of my favorite things about living in Utah. No White Christmas here in Northern Kentucky. Apparently our friends and family back in Seattle have hogged it all!!
Happy New Year, everyone!