Friday, March 27, 2015


The icing on the cake...the Christmas to the Eve...well, actually,
the Christ to the Christmas!
Ever since I can remember, it has been family tradition to read the Christmas Story together before I go to bed on Christmas Eve.  Once I got old enough to read well, Mom and Dad let me take over the reading.  No matter how old I get, it still gives a sense of peace to the night, just as Christ was born to give peace to the world.
"For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders.  And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."  Isaiah 9:6
"...I bring you good news of great joy that will be to all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord...Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests."  Luke 2:10-11, 13
"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins...they will call him Immanuel--which means 'God with us.'"  Matthew 1:21, 23
How sweet it is to celebrate the Savior who gives us all these wonderful things that come along with Christmas.  I am so glad to have come to understand that there is more to Christmas than getting gifts.  I am proud to say that I have received the greatest gift anyone could ever ask for, and it will never spoil, get boring, break, need new batteries, run out of gas, need replacement or repair, or become too small to wear.  He fits in my heart and soul all year long.  All it takes is faith.
"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" 
2 Corintians 9:15
I just love the Christmas season and spirit and story so much, I wanted to post the beginning of this post to match the end of the previous post!  Especially since it goes from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day.  Those are some of the most beautiful verses of Christmas.
Mom loves to take pictures of me (and obviously I love pictures to commemorate things), and I love pajamas, so there I am getting ready to open my stocking!
And this is what came out of that stocking!  Mom and Dad know me so well.  I got a TCBY giftcard (and a Sweet CeCe's one later; Mom just hadn't gotten to the store yet to buy it), fuzzy socks, an ipad stylus, sharpies, Carrot Cake Clif Bars, and Dad snuck in his own surprise:  hanitizers from Bath and Body Works!  He even did so well that one of them is a bunny rabbit on skis!  Too cute!
My stocking itself is a gift because it has my favorite word on it!
Delivering presents to my parents and watching them open them is almost as fun as it is to open the ones for myself.  I love to see them happy!
Dad's new golf club got a nice wrapping:  bow on a stick.  But really, how would you wrap a golf club?
"I woke up like this."
Mom doesn't like to get her picture taken, but I do it anyways.  She was thrilled with the calendars my dad got her:  one of kittens and another of siberian huskies.  He also got her some B&BW!  What a man to be seen shopping in that store!  He may be relatively quiet, but he is the most thoughtful gift-giver I know!
Mom got me this coffee flavor along with some matching Williams-Sanoma pecan pumpkin butter and spiced pecan pumpkin bread!  That store may be expensive, but they have top-notch products for your kitchen and your stomach!  We go in there usually just to explore and enjoy looking around, saving purchases for special occasions.
I had been seeing this brand of body care called YesTo, and put it on my wish list for a while, even hinting to mom that it would make a good stocking stuffer.  Shoot, I even followed them on instagram and got mom coupons for it.  The grapefruit was my top choice of what I wanted to try first, mainly because of the color.  Appearance gets my attention on products.  I also think it is neat that each different collection is based off of a different fruit or vegetable!
Here are the bigger gifts I got:
a Life is Good ski shirt
running calendar for my room
new cold-weather running top
Just Dance (which is basically Christmas gift tradition now)
my own copy of The Purpose Driven Life, the book my group does for Bible Study (a life-changer for sure!)
A daily Peanuts calendar with comics, pictures, quotes, etc
Chacos (a half-surprise; I saw them on the porch the day they were delivered, but was still surprised with the color)
and a Ninja! (a true surprise!)  I had no idea that I would get that, but it is perfect!  I use it literally ever day.  Little did mom know how great that gift would be. 
The Chacos and Ninja were my favorite (and most applicable/most used) gifts I got this year!
Tradition:  breakfast together while watching A Christmas Story.
I made sure to get the picture at the best part.  Tongue frozen to the pole. 
I triple-dog-dare ya.
Matching fuzzy socks for the occasion, too
I didn't set this up.  It woke up like this, too. 
It's a holdiday dessert tree!
I put my Ninja to good use right away!  I made eggnog dessert after our (another tradition) of Christmas dinner spaghetti!
These comics are simple, sentimental little notes to think about.
I titled this post Bittersweet because that's really how I feel about the holiday.  I love it so much, but it is so sad to see it come and go so quickly.  All the activities that lead up to this one day are almost better than the day itself.  Once it is here, it's so wonderful and fun, yet sad at the same time because it is over!  I am trying to let the good times overflow as we go into the end of the month and the rest of winter, not as bitter, but as sweet!

True holiday memories don't come from the gifts we receive, which wear out and get lost or forgotten, but we really remember the experiences we go through!
I hope your Christmas was a blessing to your family, and that you got some wonderful gifts, material and intangible!