Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Here We Come!

Ready or not, Christmas is quickly approaching!! I can't believe how fast it's coming, eek! Being sick doesn't help one in the feeling prepared for the holidays bit, but alas, it's coming full speed ahead!!

Bright and early tomorrow morning (Friday), we hit the road (yes, again) for a few days of Christmas in my hometown with my family.

I deeply, deeply love spending time with my family, but I must admit this Fall has me really burnt out on traveling. It's the most we've traveled back to my hometown in a year, ever. I have to say I am ready for a break. But now that I'm feeling better and the time is drawing near, I'm actually really excited!!

I was a bit stressed out at Thanksgiving, so now that most big projects are wrapped up at work, I'm not stressed and just ready for a good break! We'll spend most of the time at my mom & stepdad's which is nice & relaxing surrounded by oodles of trees and a lake, just a few minutes away from the small city where they live. The lake is always so beautiful to wake up to in the morning, sipping tea with my mom, and enjoying their cozy fireplaces are just a few of my favorite things. It's really peaceful there and just feels like a mini retreat!

So now that the stress is done and we're just hours away, I can see the huge grins on my nieces faces, the pregnant glow of my sister-in-law, the laugh of my brother, and the sweet hugs from mom, dad, and stepdad. I'm ready, bring it on.

So before I go, a few reflections on last year's Christmas with my fam. Okay...more than a few. You know me and deciding between pictures!! :)

Roller skating for the first time in years--with Tracie & Cayley--lots of pain the next day!!
These girls are such a riot--love them so much!
Tim reading to Cayley
Mom & Olivia enjoying a game of Connect Four
Mom, Olivia, & Cayley sledding
Tim explaining the ice on the lake to Olivia and how dangerous it is to walk on it... so don't.
Tim pushing Mom & Olivia down the hill outside Mom's house
The girls & Jerry grilling hot dogs in the fireplace
Jeremi, Olivia, me, and Cayley after finishing our gingerbread house--an annual tradition the girls are always really excited about!
Reading time with my favorite girls :)
One of our family traditions is on the day we elect as our Christmas Eve {and growing up this was on the actual Christmas Eve after dad & I made homemade pizzas} - we read the story of Christ's birth together from Luke, each of us read several verses out loud and then mom prays. --And yes, that's my high school senior picture over my brother's shoulder on the wall in the background!
Last year mom taught the girls a song that they sang to all of us--it was so cute!
After reading the Bible story, another tradition is that we sing Christmas carols together. Growing up we laid on a blanket in front of the tree with a candle just before going to bed. Now we do it before opening presents...and my brother and I laugh about it hysterically. It's better now that we have Jerry to lead us {cuz he's the only one of us that can actually sing a tune! although God bless her, mom tries really hard, lol!}.
My brother and his fam
Olivia taking everyone's pictures :)
On 'Christmas' morning we get into our stockings. Growing up mom put everything in there. Now we each buy something for each other. Mom handmade all our stockings. We tease her about not making them nearly big enough to fit all the gifts!

Christmas in our family just wouldn't quite be Christmas without oodles of board games, much to hubster's chagrin
More board games with the fam at Grandpa's
My 'sister' and her family joined us for lunch after church

Thanks for helping me reflect and enjoy last year's Christmas as I look forward to leaving in T-7 hours now! 

I hope you all have a really terrific weekend! Please don't stress about all you need to do before Christmas. Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the season. Let's all work hard to focus on that first and foremost. Everything else will fall into place. Stressing just causes us to lose sight of what really matters. Time with the Lord. Celebrating Christ's birth. Reflecting on all He's done for us. Sharing memories and traditions with family. Starting new traditions with our own little families--children or not. Hanging out with dear friends. Relishing in all our blessings.

Take a deep breath. Relax and enjoy!


1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Wonderful post! Hope you have a great time with your family:)